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German top diplomat proposes to defer Crimea issue

August 15, 2017, 12:35 UTC+3 BERLIN

The minister believes the world community should think about ways to achieve a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

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BERLIN, August 15. /TASS/. The discussion of Crimea’s status could be deferred in order to ensure that the focus is on the Donbass ceasefire, German Foreign Minister Sibmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger daily, published on Tuesday.

"We don’t need to debate over Crimea," Gabriel said. "We should think about ways to achieve a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine," he added. According to the German top diplomat, "this is vital for gradually easing tensions in relations with Russia."

Gabriel also said that by calling to consider the current status of Crimea as "a permanent provisional solution," leader of the Free Democratic Party Christian Lindner had only sought to draw attention to himself. "I believe, Mr. Lindner only wanted to make it to the front pages of newspapers," Gabriel said.

Lindner earlier called for considering the Crimea issue separately from other problems. In his opinion, such approach may help achieve success in other aspects of relations between the European Union and Russia, but if that does not happen, sanctions could be toughened. Lindner’s statement sparked a broad debate in Germany.

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