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Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a video conference meeting on the COVID-19 cornavirus situation in Russia, at Novo-Ogaryovo residence. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed in a phone call the ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and expressed their concern about the involvement of extremists from Syria and Libya in the conflict, the Kremlin press office said on Saturday.

“While discussing Nagorno-Karabakh, they expressed deep concern about the ongoing large-scale hostilities in the conflict zone and increasing involvement of extremists arriving from Syria and Libya into it,” the statement says.

“The presidents exchanged in-depth views concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis and reached an agreement that the hostilities need to be brought to an end so as to ensure return to negotiations on a realistic basis,” the Elysee Palace said. Paris pointed out that the main goal was “to ensure the further stay of the Armenian population in that region and also to put an end to sufferings of the civilian population.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo by PASCAL ROSSIGNOL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL ROSSIGNOL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the Kremlin, Putin informed Macron in detail about steps taken by Russia to achieve a ceasefire at the soonest possible time and to resume talks. “They confirmed mutual determination to continue the coordinated mediation efforts of Russia and France, including within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group,” it said.

Putin and Macron also discussed efforts to stabilize the situation in Libya. “[The two presidents] pointed out how close the positions and assessments of Russia and France are in regard to Libya. Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron called for more active efforts to swiftly normalize the situation in that country,” the Kremlin press office said.

The press office added that during an exchange of view on solutions to the intra-Ukrainian crisis, they emphasized the need for strict implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures and all the Normandy Four agreements, including those reached at the 2019 Paris summit. The leaders agreed on future contacts. They also hailed the July 27 ceasefire agreement “which has become the pragmatic result of efforts made by the Normandy Four” group [Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France].

“President Macron confirmed his intention to continue negotiations within this framework and called on President Putin to support this objective,” the Elysee Palace said.

The Presidents of Russia and France underlined the determination to battle terrorism. “In the context of recent terrorist attacks in France, both sides emphasized determination to combat terrorism in all its manifestations,” the statement said.