Germany and France pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to extend a pause in air strikes in Syria at late night talks in Berlin that Chancellor Angela Merkel described as difficult.
"A respite of a few hours makes no sense," French President Francois Hollande told a joint news conference with Merkel after the talks. "The main point is that the population of Aleppo ... cannot continue to live in conditions that are unbearable."
Merkel and Hollande said they confronted Russia about its role in the bombardment of civilians in Aleppo.
"We are talking here about criminal activities, about crimes against the civilians," Merkel said, although she did not echo Hollande's use of the phrase "war crimes".