Merkel: Russia talks important but West must be consistent in backing international law

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s important to keep the door open for talks with Russia on Ukraine but also for the West to be consistent in responding to breaches of international law.

Merkel stressed after a regular meeting with German business leaders Friday that “talks are the best opportunity to find solutions.” But she said it’s important that “violations of international law not just go without comment or happen without any effect.”

Western nations are preparing to impose sanctions if Moscow doesn’t back down over Ukraine.

The head of the Federation of German Industries, Ulrich Grillo, said that “sanctions would not serve (German-Russian) business relations — above all, confidence in these relations — but for me, for us, international law comes above everything.”