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Germany sees no reason to lift sanctions against Russia: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday voiced her doubts about Russia's contribution to settle the Ukraine crisis and said she saw no reason to lift sanctions against Moscow at present.

Addressing a meeting of German employers association in Berlin, Merkel said controversial elections held in the two self-proclaimed "republics" in eastern Ukraine were "illegal," and accused Russia of not doing enough to ease tensions.

"Russia has not yet done what we would like," she said, adding Germany continued to seek diplomatic solutions and that Russia should put stronger pressure on rebels.

The chancellor said the European Union (EU) would maintain economic sanctions against Russia, as "there is no reason at the moment to repeal them."

Her spokesman Steffen Seibert has said that the German government did not recognize the "illegitimate elections" in eastern Ukraine, threatening new sanctions against Moscow would be posed "if the situation got worse."

Earlier on Tuesday, new EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was quoted by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung as doubting the effectiveness of the sanctions in an interview.

"They affected Russia economy and were felt by Russian leaders and their associates," said Mogherini, "But the question is still whether Moscow has changed its policies."

[Source: Xinhua, Berlin, 04Nov14]

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