Merkel's coalition gets poll boost from Ukraine crisis mediation

Photo: Merkel's coalition gets poll boost from Ukraine crisis mediation / Other News

Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition has risen thanks to her prominent role in efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the stand-off with Russia over Ukraine, according to a new poll released on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Merkel's conservatives were up 2 points at 42 percent in the Forsa poll for Stern magazine and broadcaster RTL and her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners rose 1 point to 23 percent.

"The chancellor, who is in constant contact with U.S. President [Barack] Obama and Russian President [Vladimir] Putin, continues to be perceived as a crisis manager," said Forsa chief Manfred Guellner.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, from the SPD which formed a coalition with Merkel late last year, has also played a high-profile role in diplomatic attempts to resolve the conflict over Russia's occupation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

Steinmeier's personal approval rating has risen in opinion polls - higher even than the chancellor's in some surveys - but the SPD has not benefited as much as the conservatives.

The opposition Left and Greens both fell a point in the Forsa poll, to 10 and nine percent respectively.

As a result of protests in Ukraine, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on Feb. 22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has approved the new composition of the parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.

On Feb. 26 several thousand people participating in two rallies gathered in front of Supreme Council of Crimea. After the escalation of the protest actions in Crimea, the Federation Council supported President Vladimir Putin's appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending "the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country".

Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the U.S., as well as chairman of the European Council and the chairman of the European Commission made a joint statement condemning Russia's position on Ukraine and canceled the preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi, scheduled for June 2014.

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