Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin on during a phone call Thursday that Russia must reverse the buildup of troops in the area of eastern Ukraine to help achieve "a de-escalation of the situation", according to her spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer. In conversation with Stoltenberg, Zelensky said that "NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbas".
The Office of the President of Ukraine later said that the leaders of Germany and France could discuss the situation in the Donbas with Putin but no decisions should be made without Ukraine.
The official, Dmitry Kozak, said that Russian forces could intervene to "defend" its citizens.
The United States and European Union are watching reports of Russian troop movements on Ukraine's border with increasing concern.
Another Ukrainian serviceman were killed in shelling by separatist forces on Thursday morning, bringing the number of deaths to five in the past three days, the Ukrainian military said.
"The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate does not rule out that enemy forces may try to go for an incursion and deploy their troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine". Fifty Ukrainian troops died in the whole of previous year.
What else did the Kremlin official say?
Australians are free to travel to New Zealand without quarantine
The dates are also strikingly similar to Australian states with most - apart from Tasmania - beginning on April 19. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce when the two-way travel bubble will begin.
"In my opinion, and we have just started coordinating this issue with the counterparts from the Baltic states, that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could repeat its proposal to provide a MAP to Ukraine", Landsbergis said after his meeting with visiting Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
A meeting of a trilateral working group on Ukraine's rebel-held Donbass region ended on Wednesday without any tangible results, said Russia's envoy to the group, Boris Gryzlov.
"If, as our president says, there is a Srebrenica there, we shall probably have to come to their defence", Mr Kozak said.
But there have been no reports of any such atrocity being planned.
The roots of the current conflict go back to March 2014 when Russian Federation annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
A month later, Russian-backed rebels in the predominantly Russian-speaking Donbass seized the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, has denied sending troops and heavy weapons to Donbass. Minsk was the venue for negotiations in 2014 and 2015 that produced a peace plan for Donbass, a set of accords Kyiv and the separatists perpetually accuse each other of violating.
Zelensky, who has urged North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to speed up his country's membership into the alliance to support Ukraine, said he had visited positions where "the largest number of violations" of a ceasefire had been recorded, the presidency said in a statement. More than 14,000 people have died in the fighting.