Russian President Vladimir Putin, during behind-closed-doors talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Rio de Janeiro, has tried to persuade his counterpart of the need to start direct negotiations between Kyiv and terrorists, AFP has reported, citing the press secretary of the German chancellor.
Merkel and Putin held talks during which they discussed the situation in east Ukraine. The German chancellor supported the Russian president's idea that Kyiv should begin negotiations with separatists in the Donbas as soon as possible, the agency reported.
In addition, according to the agency, the two sides agreed on the need to resume the work of the trilateral contact group involving Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE, at least in the form of video conferencing, as well as to restore monitoring activities.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko refused the invitation of Brazil President Dilma Rousseff to attend the Brazil World Cup in Rio de Janeiro amid ongoing violence in Ukraine.
"The president believes it is impossible to attend the World Cup final match due to the situation in the country,"- reads an official statement.