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German Foreign Minister’s visit to Moscow drawing special attention

November 18, 2014, 8:34 UTC+3 BERLIN
The goal of the trip according to Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to probe into the chances of averting a new deterioration of the conflict in eastern Ukraine
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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier


BERLIN, November 18. /TASS/. On the background of cooling-off of the political dialogue between Berlin and Moscow, frostbitten by the crisis in Ukraine, the visit to Russia by Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is expected in Moscow Tuesday afternoon, is drawing special attention.

Before arrival in Moscow, Steinmeier is expected to visit Kiev where he will confer with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

A report at the official website of the German Foreign Ministry said the goal of the trip according to Steinmeier is to probe into the chances of averting a new deterioration of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

He also believes that, quite possibly, it is important now to seek new tasks that would help reduce tensions in relations between the EU and Russia.

Steinmeier stated the aggravation of the crisis in eastern Ukraine over the past several weeks and the increasing fragility of the ceasefire patterns established in the framework of the Minsk accords.

More and more reports on the movement of armed units and new combat clashes in Ukraine are coming, the report said, adding that Germany’s federal government was watching the pace of developments in Ukraine with intense concern.

Germany is deeply convinced that there is no military solution to the Ukrainian conflict and that is why a political solution is to be sought, an official spokesman for the ministry said.

He indicated that Minsk accords laid the groundwork for this.

On the eve of the visits to Kiev and Moscow, Steinmeier made a whole number of statements on the situation in Ukraine. He said in an interview with Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper the east of Ukraine was sending evidence of a considerable deterioration, adding that in September the parties of the conflict and negotiators had moved much farther towards defusing the conflict.

All the more so, efforts should be made now to force all the parties to mind the agreements reached by Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, Steinmeier said.

On Monday, he said on the sidelines of a conference of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that the recent discussions with Vladimir Putin in Brisbane had not been held in vain, as the case in hand now is to prevent a new spiral of violence in Ukraine.

In this sense, the talks held during the summit in Brisbane were not futile, contrary to what some media reports on them said.

From Steinmeier’s point of view, improvement of the dialogue with Russia requires involvement in it of representatives of the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union, as this would make it possible to broaden the format of the negotiations.

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