The leaders of Germany and France warned Vladimir Putin Sunday that Russia could be hit with punishing sanctions within days unless he forced Ukrainian rebels Moscow is accused of backing to suspend their deadly uprising.
French president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke for "over two hours" with their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Sunday, the Elysee said, with the latest ceasefire deadline in Ukraine looming.
Russian President Vladimir Putin today told German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the Kremlin said, noting the two leaders discussed the need to extend Kiev`s week-long ceasefire.
A crunch round of telephone diplomacy between Ukraine`s new Western-backed leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin that included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will continue Thursday, Kiev said.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday pressed for a mechanism to oversee the truce in Ukraine in a telephone conversation with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that lasted more than an hour.
The world`s leading industrialised nations threatened on Wednesday to impose harder-hitting sanctions on Russia if it does not help restore stability to eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militias continue to operate at will.
Germany`s Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range has decided to launch a criminal investigation into alleged hacking of Chancellor Angela Merkel`s phone by the US National Security Agency, a German daily reported.