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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Kiev may be fueling the international interest to the Ukrainian issue only by means of military provocations, not by means of reforms or achievements, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said in an interview with the NTV channel on Sunday.
"What will happen with Ukraine - it used to be the key topic on agenda of the previous (U.S.) administration? This is why money was allocated, hundreds of millions, which sank is who-knows what pockets. By what can be fueled that interest to Ukraine: by reforms - they should be done then; by achievements - they are to be achieved. Only by means of military provocations, which hit deeply, which hurt the people. This is the way to keep alive the Ukrainian topic," she said.
Earlier on Sunday, the U.S. President Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko, and the two leaders discussed efforts for peace in Ukraine’s south-east.
The past few days have seen a surge in tensions along the engagement line. Bombardments by Ukrainian forces have caused civilian casualties and ruined many homes and infrastructures. The UN Security Council on Tuesday evening issued a special statement to express concern over what it said was "dangerous escalation. It urged both sides to cease fire immediately. The Security Council condemned the use of weapons outlawed by the Minsk Accords.
On February 1, the Contact Group for a settlement in the east of Ukraine met in session in Minsk to call for a ceasefire in Donbass and for pulling back all weapons and military equipment away from the engagement line by February 5.
In accordance with package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Accords of February 12, 2015 all weapons having a caliber of 100 mm and more should be pulled back to points located 50 kilometers away from each other, multiple rocket launchers to areas 70 kilometers away, and multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and Tochka missiles, to positions 140 kilometers away. Under an addendum to the package of measures all artillery pieces having a caliber of under 100 mm, tanks and mortars, including 120-mm mortars, are to be pulled back, too.