Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Merkel uses strong rhetoric to warn Russia over Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:10PM GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has once again warned Russia of massive consequences if it continues with its policy of ignoring calls for talks over the crisis in Ukraine.

Addressing the Bundestag, the German parliament, on Thursday, Chancellor Merkel condemned Russia for its actions in Ukraine and urged Moscow to engage in diplomacy and change its course of action to avoid what she called massive economic and political damage.

She also threatened Moscow that the EU and the West would be ready to take stricter measures if the Kremlin refused to partake in 'negotiations that achieve results.'

Cautioning Russia of freezing its bank accounts and imposing travel restrictions on its people, the German chancellor stressed the importance of Ukraine's integrity.

She described Russia's involvement in Ukraine's southern region of Crimea as a violation of international law, adding that if negotiations appeared to be ineffective further measures will be taken which 'will cause massive damage to Russia, both economically and politically.'

This is while, Russia says what it does on the Black Sea peninsula is in accordance with international law, and that Moscow got involved in the crisis only after the Crimeans called for its help.

Most Crimeans, with ethnic Russian background, are concerned about their future under the Western-backed opposition rule in Ukraine following the overthrow of former president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Merkel's remarks come three days ahead of a referendum in Crimea on joining Russia. Crimean authorities will hold a referendum on March 16.

Moscow does not recognize the legitimacy of Ukraine's self-declared government.

MOL/AB/SS



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