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Ukraine’s new president invites Putin for talks

July 8, 2019
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaks during the EU-Ukraine summit press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, July 8, 2019. President Tusk, along with President Juncker will represent the EU at the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev on Monday.( AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaks during the EU-Ukraine summit press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, July 8, 2019. President Tusk, along with President Juncker will represent the EU at the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev on Monday.( AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s new president has proposed holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in the east and Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy suggested that he and Putin meet in Minsk, Belarus, adding he would like the leaders of the U.S., Britain, France and Germany to join the talks.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin will study Zelenskiy’s proposal.

Speaking after Monday’s talks with European Union leaders in Kiev, Zelenskiy also said that his government could consider lifting the economic blockade of the rebel areas.

He said restrictions on trade with the regions controlled by Russia-supported separatists could be removed if the insurgents surrender control over the industrial assets they confiscated.

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