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Germany Says Ukraine, Russia Ready To Meet 'As Soon As Possible'

The German Foreign Ministry says Russia and Ukraine have agreed to meet “as soon as possible” to discuss ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

A ministry spokesperson said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the standoff between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in a January 2 telephone conference with his Ukrainian, Russian, and French counterparts.

"There was agreement that a meeting of the contact group should take place as soon as possible," the spokesperson said in a statement, without indicating when such a meeting might take place.

More than 4,700 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since the fighting erupted in April after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea territory the previous month.

The conflict has severely strained Russia’s relations with the West.

With reporting by dpa
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