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    Merkel Demanded Putin Reduce Russian Troops Around Ukraine: German Statement | World News

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    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded in a phone call with President Vladimir Putin that Russia unwind its recent military build-up in the area around eastern Ukraine, the German government said in a statement on Thursday.

    Merkel also raised the case of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is currently ill in a Russian penal colony and who is demanding access to independent medical advice.

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    “Among other things, the conversation was about the strengthened Russian military presence in the environs of East Ukraine,” the statement read. “The Chancellor demanded that this build-up be unwound in order to de-escalate the situation.”

    (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Caroline Copley)

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