Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama insisted Monday in a telephone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the need to respect the Minsk peace accords in eastern Ukraine, the White House said.
Obama in particular stressed the need for Russian and separatist forces to honor a ceasefire and allow a special monitoring mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to have full access to the conflict zone, including the border with Russia, the White House said.
The exchange was in a telephone conversation that also dealt with a "cessation of hostilities" in Syria that has been set for February 27.
The Minsk agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine and European powers on February 11, 2015 called for an OSCE observed ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
But a year later, few of its commitments have been met and skirmishes continue between pro-Russian rebels and government forces.
More than 9,000 people have been killed and some 20,000 injured since the uprising against Ukraine's pro-Western leadership erupted in April 2014, according to the United Nations.
Kiev and the West accuse Russia of supporting the insurgents and sending regular troops across the border, claims that Moscow denies.