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A Kremlin statement said both Putin and Merkel were united in their understanding that “it is necessary to take urgent measures in order to stabilise the situation in Ukraine”.
Putin however told Merkel that the West’s failure to notice the excesses of the opposition also aided the violence.
“Vladimir Putin also underlined that it is important for Western countries to give up their accusatory attitude towards Ukraine’s incumbent leadership and stressed the importance of strongly condemning the opposition forces liable for organising unlawful extremist and terrorist activities,” said the statement.
Merkel and Putin also said the two sides will “stay in contact on this problem”.
26 people were killed in street clashes as a stand-off between police and rioting protesters continued.
Later on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said he had agreed a “truce” with opposition leaders.
28 EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss possible sanctions against Ukraine.
“The European Union will respond to the deterioration on the ground, including via targeted measures,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement.
Russia agreed to slash the gas prices for Ukraine apart from a $15 billion loan in a December bailout that was widely seen as a political reward for Ukrainian President Yanukovych after he backed away from integration agreements with the EU to instead cement closer ties with Russia.