REPORT German Chancellor says Moscow is interfering in the internal affairs of eastern European countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
All three have trade deals with the EU, which Russia opposes.
Mrs Merkel said in an interview with die welt am sontag newspaper that Russia was trying to make the countries of the Balkans economically dependent on Moscow to gain political influence.
Russia, she said, was creating problems and future conflicts for Moldova and Georgia, as well as eastern Ukraine.
She said a common European response was the best way to counter this Russian interference.