Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the importance of maintaining the ceasefire in Ukraine in a phone conversation, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.
A ceasefire reached between the Ukrainian government and pro-independence forces is largely holding in eastern Ukraine, the chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Saturday that pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have released four of the group`s monitors they had detained at the end of May.
The latest abduction in a vital rust belt region overrun by pro-Russian militants since early April underscores the trouble newly-elected president Petro Poroshenko will have in keeping his ex-Soviet republic whole.
Candidates in Ukraine`s presidential election stayed out of the public eye on Saturday, observing a ban on campaigning on the eve of a vote that Kiev hopes can help end a bitter confrontation with Russia.
Seven international military observers linked to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), held captive by pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine, were freed Saturday, a media report said.