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Crimea threatens new East/West divide, warns Germany's Steinmeier

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Crimea threatens new East/West divide, warns Germany's Steinmeier


The crisis in Crimea, must not be allowed to create a new division in Europe, Germany’s foreign minister warned on Saturday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the comments after talks with Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk in Kyiv. His warning came a day after the EU signed a landmark association deal with Ukraine and imposed fresh sanctions on Russia.

“The referendum in Crimea last Sunday, the moves by the Russian Federation and finally the integration of Crimea into Russia, these events violate international law and raise the dangerous prospect of splitting Europe,’‘ Steinmeier said.

Fearing Moscow will soon turn off the gas tap, Yatseniuk called on Europe to step in and fill the potential energy void.

“The first priority is energy security. We need guaranteed gas deliveries from the EU to ensure Ukraine has a continued secure energy source,’‘ Yatseniuk said.

Currently, Ukraine gets over half its oil and gas supplies from Russia.

Despite mass celebrations in Crimea and across Russia, the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula has been internationally condemned. But, Moscow has already hinted that it is considering its own tit-for-tat response to the second wave of sanctions agreed by the EU on Friday.

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