Accessibility links

Breaking News

Merkel Criticizes Russia's Crimean Annexation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) listens to Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk during a joint press conference after talks in Berlin on May 28.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the lessons of two world wars have led her to take a firm stance against Russia's annexation of Ukraine's territory of Crimea.

At a May 28 opening of an exhibition on World War I, Merkel said Russia's annexation of Crimea was unacceptable, as it upset Europe's postwar order.

"Territorial integrity is the foundation pillar of our postwar European order," Merkel said. "If you start saying things like 'it's my right' and then just take something, you'll end up with an incredible calamity."

Merkel noted she would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week at ceremonies marking the Western allies' invasion of Nazi-held France on June 6, 1944.

"The lesson of the past is to learn cooperation instead of confrontation," she said.

Also attending the D-Day commemorations in France next week will be Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko, who was invited by French President Francois Hollande on May 28 invited to attend.

Poroshenko, who was in Berlin on May 28, said he would go and was ready to hold talks with Putin to "ease" the crisis in Ukraine.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, the National Guard has reported fighting in the restive eastern city of Luhansk and said there were new "losses."

The brief May 28 statement said pro-Russian separatists attacked and attempted to seize a base the National Guard unit was using.

The statement said there were losses "both in the ranks of the military unit and the attacking side" but did not provide any casualty figures.

The statement said separatists had attacked a different military base in Luhansk earlier on May 28.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, and UNIAN