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Merkel:Continued Sanctions Unavoidable 11/26 06:23

   Merkel: Continued Russia sanctions "unavoidable" 

   BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel says continued sanctions 
against Russia are "unavoidable" and that it will take "patience and 
perseverance" to end the crisis in Ukraine.

   Speaking to Parliament on Wednesday, Merkel said "nothing excuses or 
justifies Russia's annexation of Crimea and nothing excuses Russia's direct or 
indirect involvement in the fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk."

   She said the possibility of a cease-fire in east Ukraine remains far 
removed, "and therefore economic sanctions remain unavoidable and show that in 
our efforts to get through the crisis we will need patience and perseverance."

   Merkel has spoken regularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the 
crisis began, and recently met with him at length at the Group of 20 summit in 

   Following that meeting, she accused Russia of undermining peace across 


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