"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.
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.