Merkel told reporters on Wednesday that the immediate task at hand was to stop the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine, where a fragile cease-fire is largely holding despite some violations since the Feb. 12 Minsk agreement.
Merkel said that "if Minsk doesn't work, then the member states and the European Commission are quite prepared to take tougher sanctions."
At the moment, the EU has visa bans and asset freezes in place targeting 151 individuals, including several high-ranking Russians.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ruled out any plans to hold an EU-Russia summit in the near future.
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