Conflict in Ukraine

Associated Press
Valentina Fedoryak, second left back, stands outside her home damaged by shelling in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. Fighting has continued in the east despite a cease-fire agreement between Ukraine and the rebels signed in September, and Ukraine and the West accused Russia recently of sending in new troops and weapons. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said an easing of tensions in eastern Ukraine was still a long way off, despite an announcement by Kiev that it had suspended combat operations against pro-Russian rebels.

Lavrov said negotiations meant to accompany the unilateral truce, dubbed the "Day of Silence" in Ukraine, would take place in 'the coming days', though no day has been set for the talks.

Speaking about steps taken in previous months to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels took up arms in April, Lavrov told RIA news agency in an interview: "As of yet, it is fully obvious that we are far from that goal."

Kiev and the West accuse Russia of arming the rebels and supplying them with troops, charges Moscow denies. (REUTERS)

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