Paris, Apr 16 (EFE).- The leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine on Friday called for Russia to withdraw its build-up of troops along Ukraine’s borders to de-escalate rising tensions between Moscow and Kiev.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky visited his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, where the pair were joined by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, via videoconference.
In a joint statement shared by the German chancellery after the meeting, all three called on Russia to “dismantle” the troop build-up near the Ukrainian border.
France and Germany both urged Russia to return to the Minsk agreement, which was designed to end the violence in eastern Ukraine.
France and Germany are mediators in the process.
In recent weeks there have been numerous reports of ceasefire breaches in the Donbas, most of which has been under the control of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk since the pro-Russian uprising in 2014.
“The Chancellor and the French President underlined their support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the statement added, a stance that applies also to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Nato, the European Union and United States President Joe Biden have all called on Russia to de-escalate the situation on the Ukraine border.
Over 10,000 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since it erupted. EFE