Merkel, Hollande say further sanctions against Russia loom if vote fails

STRALSUND, Germany - Germany and France will draw the "appropriate consequences" if the May 25 election in Ukraine does not go ahead as planned, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement issued on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters after the statement was released, Merkel said that if the May 25 elections fail then "we are ready to take further sanctions against Russia."

In their statement, the two leaders said: "If there is not an internationally recognized presidential election, that would lead unavoidably to a further destabilization of the country. Germany and France are in agreement that if that is the case then corresponding consequences would be drawn as outlined by the European Council on March 6, 2014."

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