Merkel, Putin agree to avoid Ukraine escalation

by Reuters
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 18:25 GMT

PARIS, Feb 19 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to do everything necessary to keep violence in Ukraine from getting worse, she said on Wednesday.

Merkel said she had spoken to Putin by telephone and "we agreed to continue to do everything so that there is no escalation of violence".

"I informed him that French, German and Polish foreign ministers planned to go to Kiev tomorrow (Thursday)," Merkel said on the sidelines of a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. "We decided to keep very close contact with Russia." (Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Alison Williams)