Germany is concerned about events in Crimea and a breakup of Ukraine must be avoided, Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday.

She spoke after armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and raised the Russian flag.

"We are concerned about the events in Crimea. The most important thing is to avoid a break-up of Ukraine," von der Leyen told reporters as she arrived for a meeting of NATO defense ministers who will hold talks with Ukraine's acting defense minister.


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