On 7 February, Foreign Minister Baerbock is travelling to Ukraine for the second time. The focus of her trip will be on the humanitarian and security situation in the conflict region, which is placing a particular burden on the people living in the region. Before departing for Kyiv, the Minister emphasised:
With my second visit to Ukraine within less than a month I am continuing to practise what is ultimately the essence of diplomacy: endeavouring to defuse extremely dangerous conflicts through peaceful means. With regard to Russia and Ukraine we have all realised in recent weeks that this is not an easy task. At the same time we are all aware of what is at stake when we observe the gathering of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, its military manoeuvres and other threats and provocations: nothing less than peace in Europe. No effort can be too much for us when it comes to defending this value, and we shall do everything in our power to do so.
Foreign Minister Baerbock will therefore also travel to eastern Ukraine in the course of her trip in order to talk to the people there. On the so-called “contact line”, the Minister will learn about the military situation on the ground and meet representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
A message of support
In Kyiv, the Foreign Minister will continue her talks with Prime Minister Shmyhal and Foreign Minister Kuleba. They will focus particularly on reviving the Normandy format as well as sending a message of support for Ukraine. The Minister stressed:
During my visit to Kyiv I will once again state in no uncertain terms where we stand: as a partner of Ukraine in the EU, NATO and the G7 we categorically support the territorial integrity of the country and stand alongside the people there. Together we will respond with tough, very specific measures to any further aggression by Russia towards Ukraine.
The talks will be followed by a visit to a military hospital in Kyiv that has been largely funded by Germany. The Minister will also visit the Holodomor Victims Memorial. This commemorates the victims of the Holodomor (Ukrainian for “murder by starvation”) and the famine in Ukraine caused by the Soviet political regime in 1932 and 1933.