MOSCOW, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, where the leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine and developments regarding long-term legal security guarantees for Russia.</p>
"Serious concerns were expressed due to the quickly deteriorating situation along the contact line in Donbas," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin noted that provocations from Ukrainian militants caused the escalation.
"Attention was drawn to the modern weapons and ammunition being sent to Ukraine by NATO member countries, which is encouraging Kiev to pursue a military solution to the Donbas problem," the Kremlin said.
Kiev "continues to refuse to implement the Minsk agreements, as well as the agreements reached as part of the Normandy format," according to the statement.
Both presidents found it "expedient to step up the search for a diplomatic solution" between the foreign ministers and political advisors to the leaders of the Normandy format countries.