German chancellor Angela Merkel is expected by many nations to take a lead role in dealing with the Crimea crisis. It is shaping up to be the biggest foreign policy challenge of her career.
The US president has said he might pull out of talks set to take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Putin has dismissed recent confrontations with Ukraine as electioneering from Kyiv.
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.
NATO members, including Germany, have been asked to send naval vessels to the Sea of Azov to back Ukraine against Russia. "Germany is one of our closest allies," President Petro Poroshenko said.
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.
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