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Lavrov: Russia, Germany aware what escalation of Ukraine crisis may bring to Europe

May 06, 2015, 7:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. Moscow and Berlin are aware what escalation of the intra-Ukrainian crisis may bring to Europe and plan to keep coordinating their efforts to settle the crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Handelsblatt, a leading German business newspaper.

"The history of Russian-German relations has many sharp turns - it has tragic pages and impressive achievements for the benefit of our nations and the entire European continent," Lavrov said.

"Our states literally achieved the postwar reconciliation through suffering. As a result, we managed to reach the level of strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation," he said.

Moscow sees that as a pledge of "both further successful development of bilateral relations and stability and prosperity of Europe as a whole."

"It is evident that a longtime decline of Russian-German cooperation would have negative consequences not only for the two countries and their economies but for the entire Euro-Atlantic region," Lavrov said.

"The risk of a new ‘estrangement’ of Russians and Germans, the high level of respect and trust between whom is our common heritage, causes particular concern," he said.

The minister said he is convinced that "in the presence of goodwill, joint efforts can help [the countries] turn the current unfavorable trend around and return to work to further develop equal mutually beneficial partnership."

"We are open for any reasonable initiatives from the German side aimed at improvement of the situation," he continued. "An important role in those efforts belongs to wide public of our states, including in the framework of the Petersburg Dialogue forum."

The prospects of settling the intra-Ukrainian crisis, the minister said, "are directly linked to strict implementation by all sides of all provisions of the February 12 Minsk agreements without exception."

"Any attempts by Kiev to resume hostilities would be a colossal, tragic mistake," he said.

"We and our German partners are well aware what escalation of the conflict may bring to entire Europe and the international situation on the whole. We intend to keep coordinating our efforts in that area," Lavrov said.

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