It cannot be settled by military means, she told German newspaper Westfalenpost on Tuesday. “All channels should remain open for negotiations. All representatives from regions and Ukrainian society speaking out against the use of force should participate in this national dialogue,” she said.
At the same time, the federal government and the European Union “are ready to toughen sanctions (against Moscow) if Russia refuses to seek necessary stabilisation of the situation,” she said, adding that the German business community should also understand it.
“It is of great importance for our economy that the basis of peaceful coexistence in Europe is not brought into question,” Merkel said, noting that Germany should become “more independent” of Russian gas supplies.