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PM and Chancellor Merkel discuss Ukraine at CeBIT

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel discussed Ukraine at a working dinner after opening the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover.

Following the dinner, a Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel had a working dinner on Sunday evening after opening the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover.

Their discussions focused on the situation in Ukraine, following on from last week’s European Council. They both agreed that the priority is to de-escalate the situation and to get Russia to engage in a contact group as swiftly as possible. They reiterated their view that the proposed referendum in Crimea would be illegal and that any attempt by Russia to legitimise the result would result in further consequences. They also agreed that we must keep working to support the Ukraine government, including identifying how the international community can help to stabilise the economic situation.

They also discussed the priorities for the next European Commission.

Finally, they talked about how the EU can strengthen its relations with other countries, particularly through trade and investment agreements with the United States and, in the longer term, China. They agreed to work together to generate more momentum on the EU-US trade talks with the aim of making substantive progress this year.

This morning, they will visit British and German trade stands at CeBIT 2014.