Putin, Merkel discuss possible paths to Ukraine ceasefire-Kremlin

MOSCOW Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:23am EDT

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MOSCOW Aug 22 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed possible joint steps to achieve a ceasefire in Ukraine in a phone conversation, the Kremlin said, ahead of Merkel's trip to Kiev on Saturday.

The two leaders "discussed... certain steps that Russia and Germany could undertake in order to contribute to swift end to the fighting and establishment of an internal dialogue in Ukraine," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin also told Merkel that Russia decided to send the humanitarian convoy into Ukraine, because it could no longer wait for Kiev to give the green light. He also expressed concern over escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said. (Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe)

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