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Third of Germans expect Ukraine-Russia war

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Third of Germans expect Ukraine-Russia war
Troops, believed to be Russian, outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea. Photo: DPA
15:40 CET+01:00
UPDATE: A third of Germans expect there to be an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia over Crimea, according to a poll on Thursday. It comes on a day of frenzied diplomacy by Germany to defuse the crisis.

The poll from public broadcaster ARD also showed that trust in Russia among Germans had sunk to its lowest ever recorded level.

Fifteen percent rated Russia as a trustworthy partner, a drop of three percent on the previous month. 

The German government will also boycott the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, it announced on Thursday.

No representatives will head to the Black Sea resort, Verena Bentele, the government's disability commissioner said.

She told broadcaster ZDF that the boycott sent a "clear political signal to Russia".

The decision was not made for security reasons, Bentele, a former Paralympic biathlete and skiing champion, added.

Germany’s Paralympic team flew out to Sochi on Tuesday and will take part in the Winter Games which open on Friday.

Meanwhile, Germany's vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was in Moscow on Thursday for talks with Putin to discuss the Crimea crisis. The discussion has remained confidential.

Chancellor Merkel met Ukraine's interim leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Brussels in the afternoon. The EU is discussing possible sanctions against Russia.

On Thursday morning Crimea's parliament announced it had voted to become part of Russia. A referendum on the future of Crimea will be held on March 16th.

The US announced the first sanctions against Russia on Thursday lunchtime with visa restrictions against Russian officials.

SEE ALSO: Crimea tries wooing tourists at Berlin fair

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