Russia, Ukraine, EU leaders to hold talks on gas, trade problems

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The presidents of Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission have agreed to hold talks on issues over gas supply and an EU-Ukraine trade agreement, in parallel with efforts to stabilise the security situation in Ukraine, the EU said on Thursday.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone on Thursday to discuss ways to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, the Commission said in a statement.

"It was agreed to hold consultations between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission on the issues related with the implementation of the (EU-Ukraine) Association Agreement as well as on the supply of gas, in parallel with the efforts to stabilise the political and security situation.

"The concrete arrangements for these talks will be further discussed through the appropriate diplomatic channels," the Commission said.

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