May 7, 2014 / 2:46 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Germany says working on follow-up Ukraine talks in Geneva

(Adds foreign minister comments in parliament)

BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) - Germany is involved in international efforts to stop an escalation of the crisis in Ukraine through a follow-up process to last month’s Geneva agreement, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said on Wednesday.

“There are at the moment intense consultations and sensitive negotiations on which talks can be held where and in which format,” said the spokeswoman.

On April 17, the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union struck a deal in Geneva that outlined steps to defuse the crisis, including the disarmament of militants and a national dialogue on constitutional reform.

Moscow and Kiev have both accused each other of undermining the deal.

Speaking in the German Bundestag lower house of parliament on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was necessary to describe what steps were needed to disarm illegal groups and how to clear public buildings.

He said the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the EU would agree to a second international conference.

“The discussions I have had on it have certainly shown me that there isn’t actually anyone who refuses to have another Geneva meeting,” he said.

“What we need now, before another meeting - a meeting with more concrete implementation steps - is just for the bar not to be raised every day,” he added.

Asked about Ukraine’s use of force to fight pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country, a German foreign ministry spokesman said that Ukraine had the right to defend its sovereignty. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Annika Breidthardt and Michelle Martin; Editing by Stephen Brown)

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