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Russia, Germany Call for Urgent Withdrawal of Heavy Weapons in East Ukraine

© AP Photo / Evgeniy MaloletkaUkrainian soldiers from the 25th airborne brigade ride atop an APC in a convoy of military vehicles on the outskirts of Marinka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 4, 2015
Ukrainian soldiers from the 25th airborne brigade ride atop an APC in a convoy of military vehicles on the outskirts of Marinka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 4, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a phone conversation Friday, expressing concern over recent ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Lavrov and Steinmeier called for the urgent withdrawal of heavy weapons in Donbass.

"Both sides expressed serious concern over the continuing violations of the ceasefire by the opposing sides, which leads to new casualties, including among the civilian population," the ministry said in a statement.

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"Sergei Lavrov and Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for the urgent implementation of measures agreed upon in the Normandy format regarding the demilitarization of Shirokino and withdrawal of heavy weapons," the statement reads.

Lavrov also expressed concern over Kiev's "unconstructive approach to the implementation of these measures," according to the ministry.

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