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German ex-chancellor: Russia's actions in Crimea justified

German ex-chancellor Helmut Schmidt has sharply criticised the West's position on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.

"The EU and US sanctions against Russia are stupid and any economic pressure would have symbolic significance," Schmidt said on Wednesday.

"The sanctions affect both the West and Russia," he said.

The refusal of G7 leaders to continue the dialogue with Russia does not facilitate the Ukrainian settlement. "It would be ideal to gather within the G8 format just now. It would be more useful to preserve peace," he said, adding "The G8 is not too important than the G20."

At the same time, Schmidt said the situation in Ukraine "is dangerous because the West worries much".

[Source: Itar Tass, Berlin, 26Mar14]

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