Tensions in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula have now increased further. The Federal Government is observing recent developments with concern. Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier is in close consultation with his European and international partners. The German Foreign Minister has urgently called the political leaders to work to prevent further escalation of the situation. On Monday (3 March) the EU foreign ministers will gather in Brussels at the invitation of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton for a special meeting on the situation in Ukraine.
On Saturday (1 March) Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated with regard to the tense situation in Crimea and other regions of Ukraine that escalation of the conflict was in no one’s interests. “Anyone who now adds fuel to the fire, be it with words or with actions, is deliberately seeking to stir up tensions.” He went on to say that political leaders nonetheless still had the chance to prevent further deterioration of the situation and the possibility of unforeseeable consequences.
Concern about the situation in Crimea
On Saturday morning (1 March) Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel also commented on the situation in Ukraine during a joint event with EU Commission President Manuel Barroso, stating: “We are concerned about what is unfolding in Crimea.” On this occasion the German Chancellor also stressed that she was maintaining telephone contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the developments in Ukraine.
Russia must provide transparency without delay
Foreign Minister Steinmeier appealed to Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We hold the Russian Government to its public assurances on this issue.” He added that this now obliged Russia to provide “full transparency, not only with regard to the movements of its troops in Crimea, but also for its goals and intentions behind this activity”.
Close coordination among European partners
On Monday (3 March) the EU foreign ministers will gather in Brussels at the invitation of EU High Representative Ashton to discuss the situation in Ukraine, following the demand of Foreign Minister Steinmeier that the European foreign ministers meet urgently to agree on a united stance for the European Union.