Merkel warns of "massive damage" to Russia if it fails to change course

BERLIN, March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:41am EDT

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BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Russia risked "massive" political and economic damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if Russia continues on its course of the past weeks, it will not only be a catastrophe for Ukraine," she said in a speech in parliament, using her strongest rhetoric since the start of the crisis.

"We would not only see it, also as neighbours of Russia, as a threat. And it would not only change the European Union's relationship with Russia. No, this would also cause massive damage to Russia, economically and politically."

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