Germany says Ukraine 'contact group' seeks talks with separatists

BERLIN (Reuters) - A diplomatic 'Contact Group' on the Ukrainian crisis aims to talk to pro-Russian separatists by video conference on Tuesday and meet them in person soon afterwards, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday.

Steinmeier said all parties were making a "strong effort" for the Contact Group - which includes Russia, Ukraine and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe - to hold the video conference and agree a venue for a direct meeting with the rebels.

The German foreign minister issued his statement after speaking to his French, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on a conference call.

(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; editing by Ralph Boulton)