21:13 GMT18 January 2021
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    European Council President Donald Tusk called Thursday on Russia to influence Donbass militia in order to put an end to the fighting with the Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine amid the aggravation of the situation near the town Avdiivka.

    MOSCOW, February 2 (Sputnik) — Tusk added that it was also necessary to withdraw weapons and grant the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) unhindered access.

    "The fighting must stop immediately and the ceasefire must be honored. Russia should use its influence to disengage Russian-backed separatists [eastern Ukrainian militia] in east Ukraine to stop violence," Tusk said in a press statement, recalling the critical humanitarian situation near Avdiivka in Ukraine's Donetsk region.

    The situation near the industrial town of Avdiivka and neighboring Yasynuvata has been tense for several days, with civilians being deprived of running water, central heating and electricity. The Ukrainian forces and Donbass militia are accusing each other of being responsible for escalation of fighting.

    On Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had to interrupt his visit to Germany due to the escalation of the security situation on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine. He also charged his aides with calling for the extraordinary session of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine to discuss the situation.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Moscow had reliable data that the Ukrainian independent armed groups, supported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' artillery, were behind the attack on Avdiivka.


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    Donald Tusk, Avdiivka, Donetsk, Ukraine, Russia
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