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Any new Russian aggression against Ukraine will carry a high price: Merkel

Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday warned Russia over its military buildup near its border with Ukraine.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Merkel said European Union member states are united and will do everything to prevent new provocations.

“Our first task is to make it clear that any further aggression against the sovereignty of Ukraine would carry a high price, this is crystal clear,” she said, referring to the possibility of harsher EU sanctions on Russia in the case of military aggression.

However, Merkel also underlined that the channels of communication with Moscow must be kept open.

Several media outlets reported earlier that the US administration officially warned its European allies that Russia may well be planning another invasion of Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday denied these allegations.

“We have repeatedly stated at various levels that Russia is not going to attack anyone, does not have any aggressive plans,” he told reporters at a briefing in Moscow.

Since March 2014, Ukraine has been plagued by conflict in its eastern regions, bordering Russia, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Western nations accuse Russia of destabilizing the region by providing military support to separatists.

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