MOSCOW, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday to discuss the Ukrainian situation.
The leaders paid special attention to humanitarian issues, including the evacuation of civilians held by militants of nationalist battalions from the Azovstal steel plant, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Russian military is ready to ensure the safe exit of civilians, Putin said, adding that the Kiev authorities should order the remaining militants at the Azovstal plant to lay down arms.
"On the eve of Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War, which Russia and Israel celebrate on May 9, Putin and Bennett emphasised the special importance of this date for the people of both countries," the statement added. ■