Still not too late for peaceful solution in Ukraine- Merkel aide

by Reuters
Monday, 3 March 2014 11:15 GMT

BERLIN, March 3 (Reuters) - Germany's Angela Merkel believes it is not too late to resolve the Ukrainian crisis by political means despite differences in opinion between Vladimir Putin and the West on Crimea, which Russia now controls, an aide to the chancellor said on Monday.

Merkel has proposed to the Russian president Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama sending a "fact-finding mission" to the Ukrainian region of Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea where Russian forces have seized control without any fighting.

"It is still not to late to resolve this crisis peacefully by political means," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert, urging Moscow to withdraw "from the logic of troop movements".

"There is no doubt President Putin has a completely different view on the situation and events in Crimea from the German government and our Western partners," he said.

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