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Germany's Merkel says too soon to lift sanctions against Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the Western Balkans Summit at Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it was too soon for the European Union to lift sanctions against Russia, but that she hoped Berlin could work together with Moscow to solve international crises like the Syria conflict.

“In view of the serious violations of international law and in view of the still fragile situation, we have unfortunately still not reached this point,” Merkel said at a ceremony in Vienna to mark the 60th anniversary of Germany’s chamber of commerce in Austria.

At the same time, Merkel stressed that Berlin wanted to have a “constructive” relationship with Moscow.

“We want to have a partnership-like relationship with Russia, we have so many international problems,” she said, adding that she hopes Russia can help play a role in solving the Syria crisis.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Caroline Copley; Editing by Paul Carrel