BERLIN, March 26 (Reuters) - The German government has cautioned against the use of violent language in the Ukraine crisis in response to reports that the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said in a leaked phone call that the Russian minority should be "nuked".
"Despite all the opposition to Russia's actions in Crimea and all differences of opinion even of a fundamental kind, there are limits to language and thought that must not be crossed," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.
"Images of violence and fantasies of violence clearly cross that line by a long way," he told news conference on Wednesday, in response to a question.
Tymoshenko, who was imprisoned under pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich and released after he was ousted in February, has confirmed the phone call took place but says a reference to the 8 million Russians living in Ukraine was manipulated. (Reporting by Stephen Brown and Michelle Martin)