Germany's Gabriel says in Putin's hands whether we return to Cold War

by Reuters
Thursday, 13 March 2014 14:20 GMT

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) - German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said it was in Vladimir Putin's hands whether the Cold War era returned and a weekend referendum in Crimea, likely to violate Ukraine's territorial integrity, would bring a second stage of EU sanctions on Moscow.

"Germany is doing everything to prevent a third round of sanctions against Russia," he said, but added that at the same time if diplomacy failed, Europe should not hesitate to impose a third round of massive economic sanctions of Russia.

Earlier on Thursday Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Moscow that it risked "massive" political and economic damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine and if the referendum went ahead.

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