BERLIN, March 20 German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said in a speech in parliament that EU leaders would signal
their readiness to ramp up punitive measures against Russia,
including politically sensitive economic sanctions, at a summit
starting on Thursday.
"The EU summit today and tomorrow will make clear that we
are ready at any time to introduce phase-3 measures if there is
a worsening of the situation," Merkel said.
She added that the Group of Eight format, which includes
Russia, was effectively dead so long as the diplomatic showdown
with Moscow continued. Russia has the presidency of the G8 and
had been scheduled to hold a summit in Sochi in June.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Stephen Brown, Sarah Marsh;
Writing by Noah Barkin)