Merkel vows united European stance over Ukraine
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a New Year's address vowed to maintain a tough stance against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, pledging that Europe will stay united in defending its values.
"Without question, Europe cannot and will not accept the purported right of the strong who violates international law," she said in a pre-released copy of Wednesday's speech.
Merkel said that 2014 had seen "what it means when the foundations of our European peaceful order are called into question, that is, the self-determination of a people".
"This is exactly what Russia is doing to Ukraine," said Merkel, who has spearheaded European diplomacy with Russia amid the crisis and frequently spoken with President Vladimir Putin.
"There is no question that we want security in Europe together with Russia, not against Russia," she said, but she stressed that might must not trump right in a modern, united Europe.
"Europe has decided not to be divided, but more than ever to act as a single entity to defend its peaceful order and its values," she said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday he would meet Putin, Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on January 15 in Kazakhstan to discuss ongoing peace efforts between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels.
© 2014 AFP