December 19, 2019 / 10:06 AM / a month ago

Putin says Kiev needs direct talks with Russia-backed breakaway Donbass region

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Ukraine’s leaders needed to have direct talks with the Russia-backed separatist region of Donbass in an effort to restore peace in eastern Ukraine.

Putin excluded any revisions to the ceasefire agreements drawn up in Minsk in 2015 and expressed a desire to continue with Normandy format talks.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jon Boyle

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