Hollande, Merkel call on Putin to 'promote resumption' of Ukraine talks
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Sunday to back talks between Kiev and rebels in eastern Ukraine.
In a three-way telephone conversation, Hollande and Merkel "called on all sides in the conflict to cease hostilities and asked the Russian president to promote the resumption of negotiations," the French president's office said in a statement.
The statement said Hollande and Merkel had "taken note" of Putin's statements after Ukraine's new Western-backed President Petro Poroshenko announced a unilateral week-long ceasefire on Friday.
"They also reiterated the importance of ensuring full control of the Russian-Ukrainian border in order to avoid infiltrations of equipment and armed men," the statement said.
Putin on Sunday called for Ukraine's leadership and rebels to start genuine dialogue, saying Kiev should halt military operations and guarantee the rights of Russian speakers in the separatist east.
© 2014 AFP