April 16, 2014
The sharp escalation of the Ukraine crisis virtually puts the country
on the brink of civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin told German
Chancellor Angela Merkel during a telephone call.
Putin and Merkel discussed the upcoming Ukrainian crisis talks
between Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US, scheduled to be held on
Thursday in Geneva.
Merkel’s press office noted that, despite some differences of
opinion, the upcoming talks were the main focus of the telephone
“While there were differences in the interpretation of current
events, preparations for the planned meeting in Geneva…were the focus of
the talks,” Merkel’s office said in a statement.
Putin meanwhile expressed hope that the Geneva talks will help to
de-escalate the situation, and return it to peaceful cooperation.