RPT-Diplomacy key to avoiding escalation in Ukraine -Steinmeier

Mon Mar 3, 2014 6:29am EST

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BRUSSELS, March 3 (Reuters) - Russia's military activities on Ukrainian soil are unacceptable but international diplomacy must prevail to solve the crisis, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday.

"Crisis diplomacy is not a weakness but it will be more important than ever to not fall into the abyss of military escalation," Steinmeier told reporters ahead of an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Steinmeier suggested an fact-finding mission by the OSCE, Europe's main human rights and democracy watchdog, as an initial response. "We are considering whether it wouldn't make good sense to create transparency about what is happening on the ground in eastern Ukraine and Crimea instead of being dependent on rumours," he said.

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