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Merkel Vows United European Stance Over Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to maintain a strong and united European position against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Merkel said in a December 30 early release of her New Year's address to Germans that Europe "cannot and will not accept the purported right of the strong who violate international law."

She says in her speech that Europe in 2014 had witnessed a nation's right to self-determination threatened.

Merkel, who has spoken frequently with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March, said such a right is a foundation of the "European peaceful order."

She added that Europe wants security "together with Russia, not against Russia."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with Putin, Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande on January 15 in Kazakhstan to discuss peace efforts between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Based on reporting by AFP and