BERLIN, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Europe needs to respond to the escalation of violence in Ukraine by agreeing to further sanctions against Russia at a European Union meeting this weekend, a leading German conservative and close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.
The chairman of the German parliament's foreign policy committee, Norbert Roettgen, told Reuters in an interview that further sanctions were needed as a preventative measure.
"There must be new sanctions as an answer and that needs to be discussed at the summit and, ideally, agreed to right away," Roettgen said. "Any hesitation would be seen by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin as European weakness that would encourage him to keep going."
"We've now got a situation in which it is clear that Russia is militarily present in Ukraine with tanks and soldiers." (Reporting Andreas Rinke; writing by Erik Kirschbaum and Stephen Brown; Editing by Gareth Jones)