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Germany's Merkel presses Putin to help implement floundering diplomatic deal on Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pressed President Vladimir Putin to help implement last week's deal aimed at reducing tensions in Ukraine.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Russia should call publicly on pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms and said Moscow's behavior since last week's deal in Geneva has been "absolutely disappointing."

Seibert said Merkel spoke Friday with Putin to voice her expectation that Russia clearly support the accord and help implement it.

Seibert says that if nothing changes in the near future "it is right to be prepared for new sanctions" — but it's also necessary to seek dialogue.

He says the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is supposed to oversee the Geneva deal's implementation, needs "support from all sides."