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Russia: Minsk talks are step to defuse Ukraine crisis

Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armored vehicle as they patrol an area in Luhansk region August 21, 2014. (REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

MOSCOW: A meeting between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Minsk next week is a step towards defusing the conflict in Ukraine, the speaker of the Russian parliament was quoted as saying Thursday.

"The Minsk meeting is one of the stages on the way towards de-escalation of this conflict," Sergei Naryshkin was quoted by state-run RIA news agency as saying.

The leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan, who are part of the Russia-led Customs Union, will also be present at the August 26 meeting in the Belarus capital.

 

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