Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. AFP
"In the context of the developing situation around a special military operation to protect Donbas, various political and diplomatic efforts have been discussed, in particular the third round of talks between a Russian delegation and representatives of the Kyiv authorities," the Kremlin said in a statement, referring to eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin said that the two leaders discussed "the humanitarian aspects of the situation" in Ukraine and separatist regions.
Putin informed Scholz of measures being taken to evacuate civilians and "attempts of fighters of nationalist groupings" to scupper those plans.
Russia and Ukraine agreed to open more humanitarian corridors on Wednesday to evacuate terrified civilians from bombarded cities, while new concerns emerged over the Chernobyl nuclear plant after a power cut.
As fighting raged on the 14th day of what the Kremlin has termed a "special military operation", safe routes were opening out of five Ukrainian areas including suburbs of the capital Kyiv that have been devastated by Russian shelling and airstrikes.