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Merkel tells Putin of her concern over Ukraine in call

Source: Reuters - Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:25 GMT
Author: Reuters
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BERLIN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed her concern about a destabilisation of Ukraine in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, stressing any steps that might lead to an escalation of the crisis must be avoided, her office said.

"She also urged restraint over Crimea," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

The Kremlin said in an earlier statement that Putin had said there must be no further escalation of violence in Ukraine in phone calls with Merkel as well as with British Prime Minister David Cameron and the president of the European Council.

Ukraine's interim government said on Friday that Russian forces had seized control of two airports in the Crimean peninsula, the last major bastion of resistance to the toppling of Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich.

Merkel on Friday also called Ukraine's new Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk to pledge her support.

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