Merkel says there is no link between Syria and Ukraine crises

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that western countries would not make concessions to Russia in the Ukraine crisis in order to win its support for a political solution in Syria, saying the two crises had nothing to do with each other.
"For us the question of Syria is not linked to the question of Minsk," she said, referring to the peace deal aimed at solving the Ukraine standoff.
"These issues have nothing to do with each other. Ukraine quite rightly expects that its territorial integrity is respected, perhaps not with regard to Crimea, but for the rest of the country," Merkel said after a meeting with the leaders of France, Russia and Ukraine in Paris.
She also played down comments she made last month in Brussels in which she said Syrian President Bashar Assad should be included in talks on resolving the civil war there, saying her push for dialog did not mean that Assad should stay in his post.