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Merkel Voices Concern Over Situation on Contact Line in Donbass

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the situation on the contact line in eastern Ukraine is causing concern.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, January 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
Poroshenko: Ukraine Remains Committed to Minsk Agreements
BERLIN (Sputnik) — The security situation on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine is causing concern and the work on the Ukrainian settlement should continue, including within the 'Normandy Four' format, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.

"The situation on the line of contact is causing concern… I would like to underline again that there is no alternative to Minsk [agreements]," Merkel said prior to the meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Earlier in January, the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) informed of the aggravation of situation in Donbass. According to the ministry, the Ukrainian military fired 900 mines and shells on the DPR territory on Sunday. The shelling continued on Monday.

Donbass - Sputnik International
Kiev Continues Armed Provocations in Donbass - Lavrov
In 2014, Kiev authorities launched a military operation against militias in the Donbass region. In 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal brokered by the leaders of the so-called Normandy Quartet that includes Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in Minsk.

Throughout 2016, the Normandy Four and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been stressing the need to implement Minsk provisions but Kiev has been reluctant to implement a number of Minsk deal points and stalled in giving a special status to Donbas as specified in the agreement. Ceasefire violations have continued.

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