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Zelenskiy, Merkel Discuss Situation In Donbas, Plane Crash In Iran

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (file photo)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the situation in Ukraine's east, where Russia-backed separatists continue to control some part of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Ukraine's presidential website said on January 15 that Zelenskiy thanked Merkel for Germany's participation in the Normandy peace format summit in Paris on December 9.

Zelenskiy expressed concern about the failure to implement an agreement on ensuring an actual "complete cease-fire" in Ukraine's east, adding that the next round of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) will be held in Minsk on January 16.

Zelenskiy assured Merkel that Kyiv will do its best to secure additional steps for a comprehensive cease-fire.

Merkel expressed her condolences over the Ukrainian plane crash in Iran on January 8 that killed 176 people on board.

Zelenskiy thanked Merkel for Berlin's willingness to cooperate to ensure an open and impartial investigation of the crash. He called for Germany's help in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of the crash.

On January 11, Iran admitted its military shot down the Ukrainian airliner outside of Tehran, but said the incident was "unintentional" and blamed it on human error.

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