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Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the Russian troop presence in Ukraine.

By
JC Finley
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pictured in 2007, spoke by phone on September 15, 2014 regarding the Ukraine conflict. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pictured in 2007, spoke by phone on September 15, 2014 regarding the Ukraine conflict. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | License Photo

BERLIN, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine.

According to a NATO estimate last week, there are still about 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine and 20,000 along the border, despite reports that Russian troops have mostly withdrawn.

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Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert relayed that during the phone conversation, "The federal chancellor said that the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and the effective protection of the Russian-Ukrainian state border are key elements for a sustainable solution to the conflict."

The two leaders also discussed implementation of the Minsk Protocol that was signed by officials from Ukraine and Russia, and Russian-backed separatist leaders on September 5.

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