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Russia can help ease tensions in Ukraine — German foreign minister

November 18, 2014, 20:00 UTC+3
Steinmeier said there is no military solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine
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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Germany expects that Russia will help avoid the worsening of the situation in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

“That is why I am here, to voice our expectations, our confidence that Russia will help in overcoming the current worsening of the situation and avoiding a further escalation of the situation [in Ukraine],” the top German diplomat said.

Steinmeier said there is no military solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. “Efforts of all parties, including Russia, are needed to see tensions defused, in order to help settle the situation that jeopardizes sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine,” he added.

According to the German foreign minister, the Minsk ceasefire agreements are “not perfect” but it is necessary to work further to improve them.

“As for discussions on Ukraine, the Minsk agreements should remain the basis for settlement,” Steinmeier said, adding that the accords lack something and require further work.

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 has drawn a lot of attention.

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.

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.

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