21:37 GMT18 January 2021
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    It is highly important to convince the Ukrainian government to give up its "criminal escapades" that risk jeopardizing the set of agreements ensuring a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He noted that Russia is doing its utmost on the political and diplomatic front to facilitate the relief of a recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.

    "Now the key issue is to somehow convince Kiev to give up on these criminal escapades which can undermine the Minsk process," Peskov told reporters.

    "Contacts are underway, the [trilateral] Contact Group is operating, so are the presidential aides," Peskov said.

    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 have accused each other of being responsible for the 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 an 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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