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Published: Tuesday April 15, 2014 MYT 7:40:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday April 15, 2014 MYT 7:41:39 PM

Germany demands 'visible' de-escalation steps from Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) - Moscow must show it is serious about a de-escalation in Ukraine by pledging concrete steps to ease tensions in four-way talks scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

"These talks are long overdue ... We expect that Russia will take serious and publicly visible steps in these talks towards de-escalation. It's in Russia's hands to prevent a further escalation that would be linked to economic sanctions," Gabriel told reporters.

"If Russia is not ready to make sure the escalation finally ends, it must expect that Europe and Germany will be ready to start the third phase of sanctions."

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt and Noah Barkin)

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