BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday expressed concern during a telephone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the situation in Ukraine and said it needed to de-escalate, her spokesman said on Monday.
Merkel also stressed the need for dialogue, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
Russia has ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships it fired on and captured near Crimea at the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.
Poroshenko’s office had previously said Merkel told Poroshenko that she would do everything to try to defuse the standoff between Ukraine and Russia.
Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Riham Alkousaa