Kuleba, Blinken discuss latest escalation in Donbas / Photo from facebook.com/UkraineMFA

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken have discussed the latest escalation in Donbas.

"I held a productive and focused call with Secretary Blinken as Russia continues to systemically aggravate the security situation in the east of Ukraine and in Crimea. Discussed ways of strengthening security cooperation," Kuleba wrote on Twitter on March 31, 2021.

Read alsoMacron, Merkel call on Russia to stabilize ceasefire in DonbasThe Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's press service, in turn, said the negotiations had been initiated by the Ukrainian side. Kuleba spoke about Russia's reluctance to ensure compliance with the ceasefire in Donbas and drew attention to the March 26 events when four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Joint Forces Operation zone in Ukraine's east.

In turn, Blinken said Washington was closely watching Russia's actions and assured the United States would continue steadfastly supporting Ukraine in protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Escalation in Donbas

  • On March 26, 2021, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another two were wounded in enemy shelling near the village of Shumy in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
  • In this regard, President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed Ukraine's delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas to initiate an urgent meeting of the security subgroup, as well as urgently discussing this issue at the level of advisers to the Normandy Four leaders.
  • Zelensky also planned to hold separate talks with all Normandy leaders in the near future.