Berlin: Russia`s actions inside Ukraine "add up to a military intervention," German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s spokesman said Friday, ahead of an EU summit that will consider fresh sanctions against Moscow.
"Russia is strongly urged to refrain from all actions that mean a further escalation," said the spokesman, Steffen Seibert, pointing to a growing number of sightings of Russian fighters and arms inside Ukraine.
"Regarding the reports of repeated violations of the Ukrainian border, which add up to a military intervention, we expect clarification from Russia," he said. "This is a very serious and unjustifiable development."
Seibert reiterated Merkel`s comments Thursday that Berlin wants "a diplomatic solution" to the crisis but that EU leaders at a Brussels summit Saturday must consider stepped-up sanctions against Russia.
"If there is an escalation, if Russia fails to meet its responsibility -- to stabilise the situation, ... to use its influence with the separatists, to close the border to Russian military equipment and Russian fighters -- then Europe will again have to respond," he told a press conference.
"And that is why the European Council will have to address possible measures."