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Russia Accuses Kyiv Of Provoking East Ukraine Fighting

Russia has accused Kyiv of aggravating tensions in eastern Ukraine following the biggest upsurge of fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatists in months.

"The Ukrainian side has taken steps to aggravate tensions many times in the past in the run-up to some major international events," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on June 4. "We are seriously concerned now over the most recent manifestation of such activity."

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major economies are meeting in Germany on June 7–8 and a European Union summit is scheduled for later this month.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Minsk peace agreement faced a "constant threat" from the Ukrainian side.

He said the Kyiv authorities were "trying to avoid fulfilling their obligations" to establish direct dialogue with the rebels.

The Minsk deal has served as the basis for a shaky cease-fire since February.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, TASS, and Interfax

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