Putin from Russia, Zelenskiy from Ukraine discuss the end of the conflict in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW: Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian leader held his first telephone conversation on Thursday and discussed the solution to the conflict in the east Ukraine And the return of the prisoners, said the Kremlin.

Zelenskiy, a former comic actor with no previous political experience, won Ukraine 's presidential election in April and he has declared the settlement of the conflict between pro- Russia n separatists and Kiev's forces one of his priorities.

The Kremlin said that the Ukrainian call had been initiated by Putin and Zelenskiy.

The two men discussed the possibility of continuing contacts on the subject in the 'Normandy' format, which involves the participation of France and Germany, said the Kremlin statement.

Zelenskiy said on Sunday he plans to continue talks backed by Europe with Russia on a so-far largely unimplemented peace deal and would try to free Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia . These include 24 Ukrainian sailors, among others.

The conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine in 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Ukraine 's Crimea peninsula, and more than 10,000 people have been killed.