Merkel, Putin say Ukraine must remain intact

by Reuters
Sunday, 23 February 2014 15:02 GMT

BERLIN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a phone call on Sunday that Ukraine's "territorial integrity" must be safeguarded and that the country urgently needed a functional government.

"They underscored their joint interest in a stable Ukraine - both in economic and political terms," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement, adding they had agreed to stay in close contact.

The Kremlin said in an earlier separate statement the two leaders had spoken in a call initiated by Berlin.

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