MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel intends to continue the talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite the sanctions imposed on Moscow, Germany’s Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday, citing local media.
“I’m trying not to lose track of the dialogue with the Russian president, despite the sanctions,” Merkel told German-language newspaper Saechsische Zeitung. The chancellor stressed that she had always been an advocate of meaningful cooperation and was going to continue sticking to this approach.
Additionally, Merkel said she does not recognize Russia’s policy toward Ukraine. “The compliance of the states’ territorial integrity and the impossibility of changing the border lines unilaterally is the key European accord,” Merkel claimed, noting that Crimea’s reunification with Russia breaches this principle.
The chancellor believes Ukraine must have an opportunity to make decisions concerning its constitution, politics and the degree of its eastern regions’ autonomy freely. “Russia must admit it,” Merkel concluded.
Moscow said the Crimean referendum was fully compliant with international law and as such must be recognized as legitimate.
The United States, the European Union and their allies have introduced several rounds of targeted sanctions against Russian companies and individuals since Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March. In a more recent incident in July, the United States and the European Union introduced sectoral sanctions targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors.
Last week, Russia responded by introducing a one-year ban on agricultural and food product imports from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, namely the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.