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BERLIN, April 19. /TASS/. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steimneier on Sunday warned the Russian authorities against recognizing the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) as independent states.
"It would dramatically complicate the process of Ukrainian settlement," he told the ARD television channel.
He called on Russia to observe Ukraine’s territorial integrity as a fundamental basis of the Minsk agreement. He said he hoped this agreement would finally be implemented. "If I had no hopes I wouldn’t be dedicating so much time and effort to this," he said, adding that the current situation was not as dramatic as it used to be some three months ago. Nonetheless, in his words, the implementation of the Minsk agreement was not satisfactory.
On April 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Sergei Brilyov, the host of the Vesti v Subbotu programme, that the issue of whether to recognize the DPR’s and LPR’s independence or not, if it ever arose, would be considered proceeding from the actual situation at that time. "We will take into account realia that emerge in life," Putin said.
He said however he did not want to comment on the issue. "I would not like to speak on the issue now, because whatever I say, everything could be counterproductive," the Russian president said.