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Dipomats seek to calm Ukraine fighting, break stalemate in new talks

FILE - In this Monday, June 15, 2015 file photo, a Ukrainian serviceman investigates a crater left by a Grad rocket in the village of Toshkivka, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)

FILE - In this Monday, June 15, 2015 file photo, a Ukrainian serviceman investigates a crater left by a Grad rocket in the village of Toshkivka, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)  (The Associated Press)

The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will meet in Paris to discuss efforts to try to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Tuesday's meeting is part of a new round of diplomatic efforts amid a spike in fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian troops. Ukraine and Western powers say Russia backs the rebels, which Moscow denies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with the French and German leaders a day earlier. And representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are holding separate talks Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus.

European countries have pushed for a diplomatic settlement while some U.S. legislators want to increase military aid to Ukraine. The conflict has killed more than 6,400 people since last year.