Angela Merkel has called on both sides to engage in order to bring peace to Ukraine as she pledged €500 million to help rebuild the war-shattered eastern regions.
She said new sanctions against Russia were not her main consideration, despite Moscow sending aid trucks into Ukraine without permission.
Peace will not be possible until there are better border controls between the countries, the German Chancellor added.
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PM used a speech in Hamburg to say that the UK will not 'pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world' but Europe must change.
It is set to remain unsettled into Saturday, becoming drier on Sunday.
The Independent has announced it is to cease publication and go online only from the end of March.