On Tuesday, February 2nd, German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared a phone call with Russian President Valdimir Putin as requested by him, in which she pressed him to use Moscow’s influence with separatists to ensure progress and improve the political situation in Ukraine.
The call came a day after Merkel met Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin and nearly a year after Germany and France negotiated a peace deal for Ukraine. “Here, Russia must assert its influence on the separatists,” Steffen Seibert, spokesman of the Chancellor said while describing Merkel’s message to Putin.
More than 9,100 people have been killed in Ukraine since government forces and separatists began fighting in 2014. Merkel expressed her opinion about the importance on improving the security and political situation in Ukraine. She said that it is necessary to uphold a ceasefire and provide full access to the international observers to the conflict zones so there could exist a chance for further progress.
“We, the United States, want to support Germany as the chair of the OSCE and as the part of the Normandy format in the issue of using the OSCE to promote the diplomatic and political efforts to implement the Minsk Agreements,” said Ambassador Daniel Baer, Permanent Representative of the United States to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), after the supported Merkel statements.
“Given the fact that the number of the international monitors of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission will soon reach 800, and taking into account new technical capabilities and advanced operational bases, the OSCE SMM will enhance its ability to monitor the situation and to report on it,” he added.
Although the proposed mission is not able to end the conflict, it can promote the ceasefire and the constructive steps in other areas to improve the situation, Baer admited.
Source: The New York Times