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AKIPRESS.COM - Angela Merkel used her speech to a congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday to affirm Europe's readiness to impose more severe sanctions on Russia, if it takes further steps to infringe the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Deutsche Welle reported.
"Nobody should doubt this. We are all different in Europe, but we have the good fortune of being united, and together we will take this decision," she said.
Some commentators and analysts have cast doubt on Europe's willingness to follow through on threats to impose tough economic sanctions on Moscow in view of the reliance of some EU countries, particularly in eastern Europe, on Russian gas and trade.
German companies, which have close ties to Russia, have already expressed concern that Europe is taking a too confrontational approach with Russia.
The European Union and the United States have nonetheless responded to Russia's recent annexation of Crimea by imposing some targeted visa bans and asset freezes on particular Russian and Ukrainian figures.