BERLIN, April 25 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Russia had not done enough to help ease the crisis in Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia might be imposed, according to a statement posted on the website of German government.
Merkel made the remarks at a joint press conference with visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
The chancellor said she had hold a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday morning and made clear that Russia lacked commitment to last week's Geneva agreement aimed at defusing tensions in Ukraine.
At the Geneva talks held on 17 April, Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the EU agreed on the renunciation of violence, the disarming of illegal groups in all regions of Ukraine, the clearing of occupied buildings and an amnesty.
Merkel said on the one hand it's needed to continue with the diplomatic process, but a new round of "phase two" sanctions, which involve overseas asset freezes and travel bans, must also be considered.
EU foreign ministers would meet as soon as possible to consider those measures against Russia, she added.
Speaking about the energy union proposal made by Poland, Merkel said she supported the idea in principle. "We need a common energy market and a common structure", she told the press.
Tusk recently has reiterated calls for the establishing of an EU energy union to secure its gas supply and reduce energy dependence on Russia.
After holding talks with Tusk in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that his country would back the plans of Poland, according to media reports.
Obama, Europe top leaders urge Russia to do more for de-escalation in Ukraine
PARIS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia should do more to contribute to violence de-escalation in Ukraine where "a democratic transition should be implemented via free elections," leaders of top European countries and the United States said on Friday.
In a communique released by France's president office, the Elysee, Francois Hollande, his American counterpart Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Russia to respect its commitment to ease tensions in Ukraine in line with Geneva accord. Full story
Cameron discusses Ukraine crisis with Obama, European leaders
LONDON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a phone call, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
"The five leaders welcomed the efforts by the Ukrainian government to implement the Geneva agreement, including cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and working towards constitutional reform and decentralization," a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement following the phone call. Full story
UN chief troubled by rhetoric, hardening of positions on Ukraine
UNITED NATIONS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged on Friday all parties involved in the Ukraine crisis to honor their commitments under the Geneva Statement, calling for an immediate halt of violence in Ukraine and practical steps to de- escalate the tension.
At a daily news briefing here, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: "The secretary-general is alarmed by the continued violence and loss of life in eastern Ukraine. The instability is contributing to a climate of fear and anxiety that can lead to a dangerous cycle of escalating tensions and serious miscalculations." Full story
Lukashenko urges Russia, West to calm down to stabilize situation in Ukraine
MINSK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The West and Russia should both calm down to stabilize situation in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday, underscoring the need for a credible leadership to further set the course for Ukraine.
People trusted no one in Ukraine as "they have been cheated and betrayed many times," the president said. "Today there is a need for a person, a group of people who could tell people what they are going to do, which path they are going to choose." Full story