Putin aide: Ceasefire needed 'as soon as possible'

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin talk before the World Cup final. Credit: REUTERS/Alexey Nikolsky

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that the Ukraine situation "has a tendency towards degradation" and have urged greater peace efforts, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

He said: "Both Putin and Merkel stressed the necessity to urgently resume the work of a contact group on Ukraine.

"It is their common opinion that, in order for the contact group to resume its work, a ceasefire needs to be declared as soon as possible," Peskov said.

The two leaders met briefly before the World Cup final in Brazil.

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