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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz looks on as he addresses the media with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (not seen) during a statement prior to a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2022. Michael Sohn/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN, March 18 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for a ceasefire in Ukraine during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, a German government spokesperson said.

In their nearly hour-long conversation, Scholz also stressed that the humanitarian situation needed to be improved and progress needed to be made in finding a diplomatic solution as soon as possible, said the spokesperson.

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