A tourist boat floats on the Moskva river in front of the Kremlin in downtown Moscow on Dec 9, 2019. (DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP)
MOSCOW - The Kremlin on Thursday called on France and Germany to use their influence with the Ukrainian government to make sure that events in eastern Ukraine, where tensions have been rising, did not cross a Rubicon.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was seriously concerned by an uptick in violence in eastern Ukraine on the contact line between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, whom he accused of illegal shelling.
Major combat ended with a truce agreed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in 2015, but sporadic clashes still kill civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and separatists
Ukraine says the simmering conflict between its troops and Russian-backed rebels has killed about 14,000 people since 2014.
Major combat ended with a truce agreed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in 2015, but sporadic clashes still kill civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and separatists.
Such clashes have grown more frequent in recent weeks.
Moscow, Peskov said on a conference call, was using its own influence with pro-Russian separatists to try to tamp down tensions.
“We also hope all our partners in the ... (Normandy) quartet will pay attention to the growing tension on the contact line and will use their influence to prevent this escalation from crossing a dangerous line,” Peskov said.
The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine have met from time to time in the so-called Normandy format to discuss the implementation of the peace deal.
“A red line would be the resumption of full-scale hostilities,” said Peskov.
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