Putin and Merkel summed up the results of negotiations in Sochi

Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel summed up the results of the negotiations. Among the topics covered – the development of bilateral relations, the situation in Syria, the armed conflict in Ukraine, the fight against international terrorism. It is reported by RIA Novosti.

“Speaking about the situation in bilateral trade, we welcomed the emerging growth of the trade turnover: in January-February volume increased by 43%. I note that Germany is the largest buyer of Russian natural gas deliveries from Russia cover almost 35% of the needs of the German market”, — said Putin.

The German Chancellor has called “a constructive partner” and noted the intensity of the ongoing negotiations. Putin and Merkel expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders stressed that the work in Normandy format to continue.

“Agreed that among the main tasks should be the breeding of forces and means of the parties to the conflict that will allow to stop the shelling, to establish a direct dialogue between Kiev and the unrecognized republics, to legislate the special status of the regions and on this basis to hold elections”, — Putin said.

Putin expressed the hope that one day at the table of negotiations in the near future will be the representatives of the Kiev authorities and the self-proclaimed leadership of Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR), as “it is impossible to achieve resolution of the conflict without direct dialogue between the conflicting parties”. The Russian President has denied accusations in the separation of Donbass from Ukraine, stating that the region of the country separating Kiev authorities themselves by using “various kinds of siege”. Merkel mentioned the death of the observer of the Organization of security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE), on April 23, an employee of the organization hit a mine 40 kilometers from Lugansk.

“The work of the OSCE is of great importance, and of course, it is sad that those people who advocate a de-escalation of conflict, become a victim of these conflicts. We must do everything in order to solve this problem. Unfortunately, a lot of progress yet,” — said Merkel.

The Chancellor stated that he expects the abolition of anti-Russian restrictive measures, but only if they fully implemented the Minsk agreement.

Putin reiterated the need to conduct a detailed investigation of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Khan shaykhun. The head of state urged “to find and punish” the perpetrators of this crime. A chemical attack in Idlib province took place on 4 April 2017 and claimed the lives of 89 people, at least another 557 were injured. US accused of using forbidden weapons the government of the Arab Republic and struck April 7 rocket attack on the air base of government forces in HOMS province. Putin said that the role of international forces in Syria should be to create conditions “for the political engagement of all opposing forces”. Merkel supported the ceasefire.