Merkel Warns Russia would Suffer Big from Sanctions

World | March 13, 2014, Thursday // 14:25|  views

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to the Bundestag. Photo by EPA/BGNES

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the Bundestag (Parliament) that Russia would suffer "massive damage, both politically and economically" through the West's sanctions.

Speaking in front of the assembly on Thursday, Merkel urged Russia to pursue effective diplomacy, or risk economic and political isolation. She ruled out military action as a countermeasure, Deutsche Welle reports.

"The territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be called into question. In a period of enormous uncertainty in the Ukraine, Russia has not proven to be a partner for stability for neighboring countries which it has close links to but it uses their inherent weaknesses", the German Chancellor claimed.

During her meeting on Wednesday with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Merkel said that the EU and Ukraine will soon sign a political Association Agreement. She also reiterated Germany's proposal to set up a contact group to mediate talks between Russia and the new Ukrainian leadership.

If negotiations are not set up, the EU will move forward with asset freezes and travel bans on Russian authorities starting next week.

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Tags: Angela Merkel, German, Donald Tusk, Polish, Ukraine, Russia, EU, sanctions


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