Putin, Merkel discuss Libya, Ukraine over phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern over the escalation of hostilities in Libya and examined problems of the intra-Ukrainian conflict settlement in a phone conversation, the Kremlin has said.

“The leaders expressed concern over the escalation of hostilities in Libya. The inevitability of an early ceasefire and the launch of intra-Libyan negotiations under UN auspices were emphasized,” it said in a statement on Tuesday, reported Xinhua news agency.

The Russian side gave a positive assessment of Egypt’s mediation efforts to peacefully settle the Libyan crisis, following on from the decisions of the international conference on Libya held in Berlin on January 19, it added.

Putin and Merkel also exchanged views on the intra-Ukrainian conflict settlement, expressing concern over the lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements signed in 2015 and resolutions of the Normandy Four summit in Paris in 2019, it said.

Key aspects of developments in Syria and issues related to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic were also discussed, according to the statement.