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Merkel urges Putin to `put pressure` on Ukraine`s pro-Russia separatists

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Sunday to "put pressure" on Ukraine`s pro-Kremlin separatists to end a recent upsurge in violence that has sparked international alarm.

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Sunday to "put pressure" on Ukraine`s pro-Kremlin separatists to end a recent upsurge in violence that has sparked international alarm.

Merkel called on Putin to use his influence with the rebels to "avoid a new escalation" of the unrest, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said, a day after heavy rocket fire killed 30 civilians in the eastern port of Mariupol.