German chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. She said Russia would be a 'factor' in bringing peace to Syria. Later she announced she might meet Putin face to face in the foreseeable future.
The chancellor told her Russian counterpart that measures needed to be taken to ensure "smooth passage" through the Kerch Strait. But stopping conflict in the Sea of Azov wasn't the only thing the two leaders discussed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov. But she failed to offer any military support to Ukraine or further economic sanctions against Russia.
Chancellor Merkel pledged to press Vladimir Putin over the latest escalation in Ukraine while opening a key Berlin conference with Ukrainian officials. Ukraine's Poroshenko has asked NATO for naval assistance.
A plane carrying the German chancellor had to turn around and land in Cologne after only an hour in the air due to a technical difficulty. She is now on her way to Buenos Aires on a commercial flight.
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