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During a telephone conversation with Angela Merkel, President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for the escalation of tension in the Donbas.
Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Dmitry Kozak on Thursday warned that Russia will be forced to defend residents in Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic (the Donbas) if there is a need to do so.
Such a decision will depend on the scale of violence in the region, Kozak said, adding that the "armed formations" in Donbas are experienced and currently able to defend themselves without external assistance.
He reiterated that Russia does not want to violate Ukraine's sovereignty or seize its territories. "It is in our interest to have a friendly, calm, and stable neighboring state," Kozak stressed.
On Thursday, during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for the escalation of tension in the Donbas.
‘We are ready to counter any threat’ Denis Pushilin Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic. During his press conference today he answered questions about the readiness of the DPR to carry out the announced conscription to the armed forces in #Donbasspic.twitter.com/PNzLbd2mgA
He also stressed the urgent need for Kiev to fulfill the agreements on "direct dialogue" with these republics' authorities and the adoption of a law on the "special status" of these separatist territories.
Since the beginning of this year, a new round of confrontation in the Donbas has claimed the lives of 20 Ukrainian servicemen and injured 57 others.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) special mission, which monitors compliance with the ceasefire, has recorded over 1,500 incidents in the conflict zones since April 2.