Putin, Merkel, Hollande urge Ukraine ceasefire: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel conversing at an event in June 2014. Mr Putin, Dr Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held a three-way phone call Saturday, urging warring Ukrainian factions to agree
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel conversing at an event in June 2014. Mr Putin, Dr Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held a three-way phone call Saturday, urging warring Ukrainian factions to agree a ceasefire at peace talks, the Kremlin said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a three-way phone call Saturday, urging warring Ukrainian factions to agree a ceasefire at peace talks, the Kremlin said.

"The hope was expressed that the questions of an urgent ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons will occupy a central place on the agenda," of truce talks in Minsk, the Kremlin said in a statement.