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EU to target more people with sanctions over Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that EU leaders would widen the list of people targeted by travel bans and assets freezes over the crisis in Ukraine. "At the European Council beginning today, the heads of state and government of the European Union will fix further phase-two sanctions that we agreed two weeks ago," Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. "These include an extension of the list of responsible people against whom travel restrictions and account freezes are in effect," she added. bur-kjm/dlc/yad

German government intervenes to stop defense delivery to Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany on Wednesday made its first public intervention in business dealings with Russia since the escalation of the crisis over Ukraine, telling defense contractor Rheinmetall it could not send combat simulation gear to Russia. Germany has close economic ties with Russia, its main supplier of gas. But Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a leading role in diplomatic efforts to stop President Vladimir Putin from annexing the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

UK says Germany's Merkel supports "further consequences" for Russia over Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and Germany have agreed that the European Union should impose further consequences on Russia, building on travel bans and asset freezes agreed earlier by European foreign ministers, a spokeswoman for the British prime minister said. Prime Minister David Cameron called German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the EU's response to events in Ukraine ahead of a European Council meeting on Thursday, the spokeswoman said.

Obama spoke to Germany's Merkel about Ukraine: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday about the crisis over Ukraine's Crimea region, the White House said. The two leaders spoke in an effort "to continue coordinating response to the situation in Ukraine," Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, said in a post on Twitter. (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Steve Holland)

Germany will support Portugal's decision on bailout exit: Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will support Portugal in its forthcoming decision on how to exit its bailout program, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, adding that she expected a decision from Lisbon soon partly because confidence in the euro zone was growing. "It is a decision for the Portuguese government," Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin with Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

Germany will support Portugal's decision on bailout exit: Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will support Portugal in its forthcoming decision on how to exit its bailout program, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, adding that she expected a decision from Lisbon soon partly because confidence in the euro zone was growing. "It is a decision for the Portuguese government," Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin with Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

Renzi tells Merkel Italy will respect EU budget rules

By Alexandra Hudson BERLIN (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a long-standing champion of European Union budget rigor, that he aimed to accelerate growth while respecting deficit spending limits. Renzi last week announced a sweeping package of tax cuts, including 10 billion euros ($13.9 billion) in income-tax reductions, to help spur consumer demand, saying spending cuts and extra borrowing would fund the measures.

Merkel: Russia talks important but West must be consistent in backing international law

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it's important to keep the door open for talks with Russia on Ukraine but also for the West to be consistent in responding to breaches of international law. Merkel stressed after a regular meeting with German business leaders Friday that "talks are the best opportunity to find solutions." But she said it's important that "violations of international law not just go without comment or happen without any effect." Western nations are preparing to impose sanctions if Moscow doesn't back down over Ukraine.

China warns of dangerous Russia sanctions 'spiral'

By Noah Barkin and Andreas Rinke BERLIN (Reuters) - China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control. In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.

Merkel warns Russia of 'massive' long-term damage over Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Russia Thursday of "massive" long-term damage to its economic and political interests if it continued to violate international law with its seizure of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. In a speech to parliament looking ahead to a European Union summit next week in which the 28-member bloc could impose new sanctions against Moscow, Merkel said Russia was using the "failed" expansionist tactics of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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