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Steinmeier believes anti-Russian sanctions won’t solve Aleppo crisis

October 20, 2016, 12:51 UTC+3 BERLIN

The German top diplomat stresses new sanctions against Russia will not help settle the situation in Aleppo

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

BERLIN, October 20. /TASS/. New sanctions against Russia will not help settle the situation in Aleppo, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.

"Bombastic declarations for the press and threats to introduce sanctions will help no one, neither a child, nor a mother, nor a father, nor the sick and wounded in Aleppo, who need food and medical assistance," the German top diplomat said.

"We would certainly like the Ukrainian conflict to have been long settled and the Aleppo bombardments to have stopped," he noted. "But just imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t sealed the Minsk agreements: it is possible that today we would have faced a direct confrontation between two military forces that are armed to the teeth."

"If we would have listened to those who saw sanctions against Russia as the solution, the bombardments (in Aleppo) would not have probably been halted," Steinmeier stressed. 

At the same time he pointed out that the military solution was not the right one. "Many thought military intervention in Iraq served as evidence of a strong foreign policy. But in fact it plunged the region into chaos and weakened it," the German minister noted. 

"There are no causes for optimism, however we bear responsibility and despite omissions in the past, this does not let us confine ourselves with simple outrage at what is going on," the top German diplomat said.

He said the country’s population, and first of all residents of Aleppo, needed a long-term ceasefire which would make it possible to start a political process and normalization of the situation.

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