Russia, West trade barbs ahead of Ukraine talks in Paris

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Ukrainian servicemen patrol near the chemical plant in Avdeevka, Donetsk region, on June 20, 2015

The leaders of Russia, France and Germany clashed over the Ukraine crisis Monday, as the EU extended sanctions on Moscow on the eve of key diplomatic talks in Paris. After a 45-minute three-way telephone conversation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted a “worrying” number of breaches in a ceasefire agreement clinched in February in Minsk, according to a government spokeswoman in Berlin. “Reports from the observation mission of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) show that the use of arms, especially the recent rise in heavy weaponry, is mainly coming from separatists supported by Russia,” Berlin said.

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