Merkel warns Russia of 'massive' damage

AFP/The Local
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Merkel warns Russia of 'massive' damage

UPDATE: Germany warned Russia Thursday of long-term damage to its interests if it continued to violate international law with its seizure of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. But a new poll showed Germans were against sanctions.


"If Russia continues its course of the last weeks, it would not only be a catastrophe for Ukraine," Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

"It would not only change the relationship of the European Union as a whole to Russia. No, it would also, and I am firmly convinced of this, massively damage Russia both economically and politically."
She warned Russia that if it didn't change course, sanctions would follow on Monday including bank account freezes.

The chancellor warned added that conflicts of interests couldn't be solved with 19th or 20th century measures.

But a Forsa poll for the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade showed just under a quarter (24 percent) of Germans thought economic sanctions on Russia would help solve the crisis.

Sixty-nine percent said imposing sanctions would change nothing, financial news site Handelsblatt Live reported.

But Germans are fearful of the consequences of the Crimea crisis. Sixty-four percent said they feared it could have a negative impact on Germany.

A clear majority also blamed the previous Ukrainian government of President Victor Yanukovych for the country's problems.

The poll questioned 1,003 people between March 7th and March 10th.

SEE ALSO: Left party calls for Crimea poll to be accepted


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