German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects Russia' breach of international law in her New Year speech she has pledged to resist Russian aggression through a united European position. The message of unity was included in the German leader's annual New Year's message, scheduled to be broadcast as the country marks the end of 2014.
In an early release of the speech, Merkel said that Germany and Europe 'cannot and will not accept the purported right of the strong who violate international law,' referring to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its involvement in the violent conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Stressing the that Russian intervention in Ukraine over the past year had tested the fundamentals of the peaceful order in Europe.
'There is absolutely no question that we seek security in Europe in partnership with Russia, not against Russia,' she said. 'But Europe cannot accept and will not accept the supposed 'right' of the stronger to flout international law,' she said.
Merkel called for continued unity in the EU in resisting Russia's actions. Germany has repeatedly said the Russian takeover of Crimea was illegal and has pointed to evidence, denied by Moscow, of Russian assistance to separatists in eastern Ukraine.
'Being united is not an end in itself, but it's the key to overcoming the crisis in Ukraine and imposing the supremacy of law,' Merkel said.
Merkel is set to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Putin in Kazakhstan on January 15 to discuss efforts aimed at ending the crisis.
2015 is full of challenges for European cohesion.