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Leaders Of Germany, Russia, France To Discuss Situation In Eastern Ukraine

(Left to right:) Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande will meet to discuss Ukraine on the sidelines of a G20 summit next week. (file photo)

The Kremlin has announced that the leaders of Russia, Germany, and France will meet on the sidelines of an upcoming G20 summit to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine.

A recent upsurge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting Russia-backed separatists, plus fresh tensions in Crimea are raising concerns that a fragile cease-fire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine during a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on August 23.

The Kremlin said the three will meet on the sidelines of a summit for the Group of 20 (G20) group of major economies, which is being held in China on September 4-5.

A German government spokesman said the three leaders shared concern about cease-fire breaches in eastern Ukraine and that Merkel and Hollande had urged Putin to do what he could to calm the situation.

Putin earlier this month accused Kyiv of plotting "sabotage" attacks in Crimea while Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko warned of a possible "full-scale" Russian invasion.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP