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Presidents Zelensky and Putin Have Year-End Phone Call

Jan. 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky initiated a second telephone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, the Kremlin website reported.

The two Presidents emphasized the importance of the Dec. 30 package deal between Gazprom and Naftogaz, which specifies that uninterrupted transit of Russia’s natural gas to Europe through Ukrainian territory will continue after Jan. 1, 2020.

Both Presidents acknowledged the “constructive nature” of the talks on these matters, adding that this “creates a favorable backdrop for resolving other bilateral problems,” the Russian readout stated.

Zelensky and Putin also spoke positively of the Dec. 29 exchange of detained persons between Kiev and Donbas, under the “all identified for all identified” prisoners principle. They observed that this action was carried out “in keeping with the agreements of the Dec. 9 Normandy Four summit held in Paris, and that it helped strengthen mutual trust.” They also stressed the “need for the parties to the internal conflict in Ukraine to make consistent steps toward implementing the Minsk Package of Measures.”

The Russian President’s website reported that the Presidents exchanged New Year greetings and expressed the desire to further develop Russian-Ukrainian relations in 2020.

This is the third time the two Presidents have had a one-on-one discussion: a Nov. 25 phone call, and in their bilateral meeting at the Normandy Format summit. Over the years, the Kremlin site has listed multiple phone calls between Putin and Zelensky’s predecessor Petro Poroshenko.

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