Russia and U.S. discussed situation in south-eastern Ukraine - TASS

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov speaks during a news conference in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian and U.S. representatives have discussed the situation in south-eastern Ukraine, the TASS news agency quoted Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Tuesday.

On Monday, Ryabkov said that Russia was in high-level contact with the United States about tensions over Ukraine and dismissed fears of a Russian military buildup even as it vowed to respond to new Ukrainian sanctions.

There has been a recent spike in violence in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region where Kyiv's troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces in a conflict it estimates has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)