Germany's Merkel presses Putin to halt flow of military goods, personnel into Ukraine

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BERLIN — The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel has pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the flow of military goods and personnel into Ukraine ahead of a weekend meeting of foreign ministers aimed at easing tensions.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that the two leaders spoke Friday evening ahead of a meeting between the Russian, Ukrainian, German and French foreign ministers planned for Sunday in Berlin.

He says Merkel urged Putin to contribute to de-escalating the situation "and in particular put an end to the flow of military goods, military advisors and armed personnel over the border into Ukraine." Merkel also voiced hope that convoys carrying humanitarian goods will soon reach their destination.

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