Russia has called on Ukraine to stick to the Minsk peace process and disproved claims that Russia is deploying additional troops on the border. Kiev has again accused Russia of invading Ukraine, but has not produced any proof.
The calls from Russia come as tension is rising in eastern Ukraine, and rebels say Kiev is preparing to break the ceasefire and resume hostilities.
Amid the threat of escalation, Russia is calling for a new round of talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.
“We call for the Minsk process to continue and for a new gathering of the contact group,” Russian presidential adviser Yury Ushakov said Friday.
Negotiations in Minsk managed to produce a shaky ceasefire in early September, which has mostly held until now. They didn’t stop the violence altogether, as some flare-ups occurred on the border between areas controlled by Kiev loyalists and rebel forces, such as the fighting over the ruins of Donetsk international airport. But the violence was reduced.
The calls come after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called this week to abandon the Minsk talks altogether and go back to the Geneva negotiations format from April. Unlike the Kiev talks, the talks in Geneva did not include representatives of the rebel forces.