Minsk talks next week are step to defusing Ukraine crisis: Russian lawmaker

MOSCOW Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:07am EDT

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MOSCOW Aug 21 (Reuters) - 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 on 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 Aug. 26 meeting in the Belarus capital. (Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe)

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