STRALSUND, Germany May 10 Germany and France
will draw the "appropriate consequences" if the May 25 election
in Ukraine does not go ahead as planned, Chancellor Angela
Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said in a joint
statement issued on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters after the statement was released,
Merkel said that if the May 25 elections fail then "we are ready
to take further sanctions against Russia."
In their statement, the two leaders said: "If there is not
an internationally recognised presidential election, that would
lead unavoidably to a further destabilisation of the country.
Germany and France are in agreement that if that is the case
then corresponding consequences would be drawn as outlined by
the European Council on March 6, 2014."
That is a clear reference to the third stage of sanctions,
especially economic sanctions against Russia, that European
Union leaders agreed on March 6.
At the same time, Germany and France called upon all sides
to start disarming irregular forces under the auspices of the
OSCE by May 15 at the latest. All parties are called upon to
cease acts of violence. They also called upon Russia to reduce
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Stralsund; writing by Erik
Kirschbaum in Berlin and Leigh Thomas in Paris)