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G7 to take three-stage path on Ukraine crisis: Merkel

(Xinhua)    08:19, June 05, 2014
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks on the upcoming G7 summit during a meeting session at the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, in Berlin, Germany, on June 4, 2014. The G7 Summit set for Brussels on June 4-5 will focus on Ukraine situation, ties with Russia, global economy and energy security, according to preliminary agenda unveiled by the European Union (EU). (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

BERLIN, June 4 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the Group of Seven (G7) will follow a three-stage approach on the issue of Ukraine crisis at the upcoming meeting in Brussels, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on its website.

The German chancellor made the remarks just hours before the leaders of the seven most industrialized nations to meet in Brussels. The crisis in Ukraine and relations with Russia are expected to dominate the agenda of the two-day summit of G7.

Addressing the German parliament, Merkel said the G7 group will follow its three-stage approach: to support Ukraine, to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis through talks with Russia, and finally, further sanctions against Russia would be possible if the situation in Ukraine gets worse.

However, Merkel also noted it is important to keep a close partnership with Russia, saying sanctions are not an end in itself and she hopes it won't go further on the sanctions path.

Leaders of G7 declared in March that they would boycott the G8 summit due in Russia's Sochi in June. Instead, they will gather in Brussels for a two-day G7 summit.

The expulsion of Russia from the G8 came a few days after Moscow took Crimea after a referendum in the peninsula.

Merkel said the G8 is not only an economic community, but also shares common values, which include respect for international law.

Russia's moves in the unrest