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Published: Monday April 14, 2014 MYT 6:10:09 PM
Updated: Monday April 14, 2014 MYT 6:11:14 PM

Germany says Russia may be playing role in east Ukraine tensions

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia may be playing a behind-the-scenes role in escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine, a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.

"We have numerous sources that suggest Russia may be playing a role in the clashes," the spokeswoman told a government news conference.

Separately, a government spokeswoman said European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday would discuss whether tensions in eastern Ukraine justified the implementation of tougher "third phase" economic sanctions against Russia.

"Whether the current situation in Ukraine is reason to move to the third phase of sanctions will be discussed by EU foreign ministers this afternoon," the second spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Erik Kirschbaum; Writing by Noah Barkin)

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