Germany sees contact group opening channel between Kiev, Moscow

BERLIN, March 3 Mon Mar 3, 2014 6:46am EST

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BERLIN, March 3 (Reuters) - A "contact group" proposed by Germany to work on resolving the Ukraine crisis would open channels of communication between Moscow and Ukraine's new government which so far have been limited to just one phone call, a German spokeswoman said.

"The contact group is important because we need not only a dialogue with Russia but also a dialogue between Ukraine and Russia," said a foreign office spokeswoman said on Monday.

"There are no direct channels and therefore the contact group is important to enable trust-building measures between both governments."

Angela Merkel's spokesman said that when the chancellor raised the idea during a phone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Sunday, the president was receptive. Such a group could be composed of states and international organisations, Berlin said.

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