November 26, 2018 / 2:19 PM / 18 days ago

Germany's Merkel to push for de-escalation on Ukraine, Russia: Poroshenko

KIEV (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that she would do everything to try to defuse the standoff between Ukraine and Russia, Poroshenko’s office said after a phone call between the two leaders.

Russia has ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships it fired on and captured near Crimea at the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.

“Angela Merkel expressed concern about the escalation of Russian aggression with the use of weapons and said that she would do everything for de-escalation,” a statement on Poroshenko’s website said.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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