Germany's foreign minister warned that Russian military action in Ukraine could create a new Iron Curtain in Europe.
In a statement issued Sunday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We are on an extremely dangerous path of escalating tensions. A change of course is still possible. There is still a chance of stopping Europe being split."
Steinmeier joined other European Union foreign ministers Monday in Brussels to push for high-level mediation to resolve the crisis.
Germany, France and Britain, the EU's most-powerful nations, are all advocating mediation, while not ruling out economic measures if Moscow does not cooperate.
"Crisis diplomacy is not a weakness but it will be more important than ever to not fall into the abyss of military escalation," Steinmeier told reporters on Monday.
Reuters contributed to this report.
First published March 3 2014, 4:49 AM