Mar 20, 2015 08:28 AM EDT

Russia's Putin calls for regional currency union

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leader of Belarus and Kazakhstan on Friday their three countries should consider forming a common currency union.

Putin met Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Kazakh capital Astana to discuss economic problems facing the three countries, all of which are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, a political and economic bloc of former Soviet republics.

The Russian leader also said he hoped the conflict in Ukraine would soon end, adding: "I hope the Kiev authorities will gradually implement the agreements (for ending the conflict) reached in (the Belarussian capital) Minsk," he said.

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