Monday, March 3, 2014

Merkel raps Russia's intervention in Crimea

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Russia's intervention in Crimea, in southern Ukraine, unacceptable. She says it breaks international law.


A German government spokesperson says Merkel talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the telephone on Sunday.

This comes as Russian troops in Crimea are increasing activities outside their bases after Ukraine inaugurated a pro-Western interim government.

The spokesperson says Merkel told Putin that Russia's move violates a series of past agreements in which Russia said it would respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and its borders. She reportedly renewed her call for him to stop the troops' activities outside their bases.

Russia's presidential office says Putin explained to Merkel the threat of violence from ultranationalist forces that endangers the lives and legal interests of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. It calls the measures taken by Russia fully adequate.

But Germany says Putin accepted Merkel's proposal for setting up a fact-finding mission to start a political dialogue.