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Merkel warns 'no military solution' to Ukraine conflict

AFP  |  Berlin 

German said Thursday there is "no military solution" to the conflict after asked for NATO naval support in his country's standoff with

Blaming for the tensions, Merkel said: "We ask the Ukrainian side too to be sensible because we know that we can only solve things through being reasonable and through dialogue because there is no military solution to these disputes".

fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters in the and detaining their crew, in a dramatic spike in tensions that raises fears of a wider escalation.

accused Russia, which annexed the from in 2014, of launching "a new phase of aggression".

Poroshenko asked and other NATO countries in comments to Bild newspaper on Thursday to "relocate naval ships to the in order to assist and provide security".

Ukraine is not a NATO member but has established close ties with the US-led military alliance, especially since the 2014 Crimea annexation.

Merkel, speaking at a German-Ukrainian business forum, said she would discuss the conflict with Russian at a summit in this weekend.

She said a bridge from the Russian mainland to Crimea that Putin opened in May had already restricted shipping access to the and therefore to the Ukrainian port of

"The full blame for this goes to the Russian president," she said.

"Now what I want is that the facts of what happened are put on the table, that the (crew) are released, and that no confessions are coerced like we have seen on television."

"I would also support keeping things calm, but we must also ensure that a city like that relies on access to the sea ... is not simply cut off so that large parts of Ukraine can no longer be easily reached.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 17:55 IST