Russian-backed separatists refuse to hold talks with Ukraine

Separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they saw no point in agreeing to hold emergency talks with the Ukrainian government after a major increase in shelling between the two sides, the Interfax news agency reported.

Separately, the RIA news agency cited the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic as saying it would only agree to such talks if there were specific proposals on the table to discuss.

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