Merkel’s potential CDU successor suggests blockade of Russian ships over Ukraine crisis

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The European Union and the United States should consider banning from their ports Russian ships originating from the Sea of Azov after Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels there, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s protege said on Friday. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is leading the race to succeed Merkel as leader of her ruling conservatives, also said Germany must be ready to take more responsibility in foreign policy and to spend more on defense. Russia seized the Ukrainian vessels and their crews on Sunday near Crimea, the Ukrainian region which Moscow annexed in 2014, over what it said was their illegal entry into Russian waters, which Ukraine denies. “If it’s confirmed that the aggression came from Russia … then I think there must be a clear answer,” Kramp-Karrenbauer told Reuters in a television interview. “One answer might be, for example, to stop Russian ships coming from the region – from the Sea of ​​Azov – from entering European or U.S. ports until this situation…

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