Russia's President Putin and the German Chancellor Merkel held a phone conversation to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin has said.
"They underscored their joint interest in a stable Ukraine - both in economic and political terms," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement, adding they had agreed to stay in close contact.
More top news
The vice minister of foreign affairs criticised the comments as “ignorant”.
Taxes will need to rise to pay for a modernised health service, experts have said.
The son of one of those said to be involved in the theft claims the pair did it “for the thrill”.