Telephone conversation with Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko
The four leaders discussed aspects of the political settlement in southeastern Ukraine, underlining the importance of strict observance of the ceasefire, enhancing the performance of the Special OSCE Monitoring Mission in the conflict zone by giving it additional authority, and consolidating the Joint Center for Control and Coordination.
Vladimir Putin called for an immediate end to Ukrainian gunfire on Donbass villages, emphasizing that a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Luhansk should be a key element in the conflict resolution to achieve a full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015.
The four leaders noted that the partners in the Normandy format had been given a package of proposals for local elections, special status, amnesty and decentralisation that had been previously agreed to with DNR and LNR [Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics]; the initiatives should be considered carefully by the Contact Group.
They exchanged views on possible steps to address a number of pressing socio-economic and humanitarian issues in southeastern Ukraine.
Finally, the conversation touched upon some aspects of the Syrian crisis.
Zakharchenko announces election candidate primaries in all districts of Donetsk city
Primary elections will be held in all districts of the city of Donetsk, the first minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, has announced.
"During the public primaries, the residents of the DPR capital will determine the most suitable candidates to participate in local elections provided by the Minsk agreements,” said Zakharchenko.
He suggested that the elections could take place at the end of this year or the beginning of the next year.
"Kiev does not want and is afraid of the election, Poroshenko knows that his agents will lose them, so he is playing for time to prevent holding the elections. But sooner or later the Americans and the Europeans will make him live up to the Minsk-2 agreement,” Zakharchenko said.
"Therefore, we must be fully prepared to the open an election campaign with any number of international observers. We need strong candidates that can defeat the demagogues and oligarchs, which the Kiev regime will send to deceive our people. We need primaries in order to select the strongest candidates. We have defeated the Banderites in the war, and we will defeat them in the elections,” he said,.
Zakharchenko believes that the primaries will be held in September and October. If they are successful in Donetsk, they will be organised in other cities of the DPR.