Russian, Ukrainian presidents discuss settlement

– Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky talked about preparation of new round of Normandy Four summit

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian and Ukrainian presidents discussed on Friday the preparation of a new round of the Normandy Four summit, established to address the issues of the Ukrainian settlement.

Over phone, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky also assessed the implementation of the agreements reached, with special care on the release of the prisoners, the press office of the Ukrainian leader said in a statement.

"Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin paid special attention to the release of Ukrainian citizens kept in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, as well as in the Russian Federation," it said.

The Normady format talks is held between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France to solve the Ukrainian settlement issues.

It also added that Putin and Zelensky agreed on the need to intensify efforts at the level of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on the implementation of the Minsk agreements to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum.

Turkey as well as the UN General Assembly viewed the annexation as illegal.