Berlin says Russia failing to meet peace commitments in Ukraine

BERLIN Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:39am EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government criticized Russia on Wednesday for failing to meet commitments agreed earlier this month on de-escalating the violence in Ukraine and said the European Union remained ready to impose further sanctions on Russia if necessary.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said she talked to U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday and they were all disappointed that pro-Russian rebels had still not joined talks between Kiev, Moscow and Western mediators.

"They also agreed that Russia has so far fallen short of expectations agreed by the German, Ukrainian, Russia and Polish foreign ministers on July 2 and which are always present in the chancellor's talks with president Putin," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson and Noah Barkin; Writing by Stephen Brown)

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