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Putin says Kiev needs direct talks with Russia-backed breakaway Donbass region

MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Ukraine’s leaders needed to have direct talks with the Russia-backed separatist region of Donbass in an effort to restore peace in eastern Ukraine.

Putin excluded any revisions to the ceasefire agreements drawn up in Minsk in 2015 and expressed a desire to continue with Normandy format talks. (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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