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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and acting governor of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov (not seen) in Crimea, August 19, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsky/via REUTERS


MOSCOW (Reuters) - The leaders of Russia, Germany and France have agreed to meet to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sept. 4-5 in China on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

A recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, and fresh tension in Crimea have raised concern that a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

Russian's Vladimir Putin held a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, the Kremlin said. Putin, it said, drew attention to "provocations" by Ukraine in Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 after protesters overthrew Kiev's pro-Moscow president.

The Kremlin also said concern was expressed about instability along the line of confrontation in east Ukraine.

A German government spokesman said the three leaders shared concern in their phone call about ceasefire breaches in Ukraine's Donbass region and that Merkel and Hollande had urged Putin to do what he could to calm the situation.

Putin, Merkel and Hollande also discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements. "There was agreement that progress was urgently needed and that in particular a stabilisation of the ceasefire had to be achieved," said the German spokesman.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week he did not rule out introducing martial law and a new wave of military mobilisation if the separatist conflict worsened.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Writing by Denis Pinchuk and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Alexander Winning)


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