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Poroshenko To Meet With EU's Juncker On Ceasefire Violations

European Commission chief Jean Claude Juncker will hold talks in Brussels with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the tattered ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the commission said August 21.

An escalation in fighting is threatening a peace deal signed in February in the Belarus capital of Minsk between the pro-Western Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists.

The August 27 talks with Juncker follow meetings scheduled for August 24 in Berlin between Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who were both present at the Minsk agreement's signing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin -- who persistently denies any Kremlin involvement in the Ukraine fighting and calls Russian soldiers discovered in the war zone "volunteers" -- has been notably omitted from the round of meetings.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been Europe's deadliest since the 1990s wars in the Balkans, killing more than 6,800 people and driving 1.4 million from their homes.

Based on reporting by AFP