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Ukraine’s crisis aggravation is not averted yet - German coordinator for Russian affairs

January 30, 2014, 22:10 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, January 30, 21:42 /ITAR-TASS/. Risks of a further aggravation of the current crisis in Ukraine have not been escaped so far, the German government’s new coordinator for German-Russian relations, Gernot Erler, said on Thursday at a meeting with foreign correspondents accredited in Berlin.

Although there is still hope that the red-hot situation could get defused, the politician said adding that Germany was not rushing to play a special part in the Ukrainian drama.

Germany participates in calming down the situation through intense negotiating contacts aimed at deescalating the conflict and at tapping political solutions, Erler said.

Neither Russia nor Germany /or the European Union on the whole/ is interested in Ukraine’s disintegration, the German politician said urging to back up the forces interested in the settlement of the crisis.

Speaking on the debates on a possible imposition of sanctions on the Ukrainian leadership, the coordinator said that one should not act as a mediator and impose sanctions simultaneously. The U.S. stands for introducing restrictive measures but it does not act as a mediator and that is why efficiency of sanctions should not be discussed while the stake should be placed on achieving a political solution.

At present Berlin is set to solve a so-called triple task. Firstly, Germany wants the Ukrainians to renounce the use of force, to deescalate the situation and to elaborate a peaceful settlement of the crisis. Secondly, Ukraine will soon be in need of a competent government capable of pushing the bankruptcy-prone country out of the crisis.

Thirdly, Ukraine’s future deserves consideration whether it will be orientated towards the European policy within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program or whether it will look in the direction of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Union.

Efforts should be coordinated to stop rivalry of these two integration projects amid attempts to initiate a dialogue for clearing up the situation, Gernot Erler said noting that Kiev’s refusal to sign the association agreement had become an unpleasant surprise for the European Union.

International actions are on the agenda to even out the financial situation in Ukraine. But no-one will finance it for nothing and the issue arouses a question of what Ukraine is ready to offer in return, in particular, in the sphere of reforms, Erler said.

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