The Federal Foreign Office is releasing 10 million euros as an emergency measure to help the people suffering as a result of the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Foreign Minister Steinmeier made the announcement on Wednesday (18 February), prior to a meeting with representatives of a number of humanitarian aid organisations.
Speaking before his talks, Steinmeier pointed out that the efforts to prevent further escalation of the situation there should “not stop us thinking of the people of eastern Ukraine,” who had been having to deal with a lack of food and fuel as well as the collapse of most public infrastructure for many months.
Back in 2014, the Federal Government made more than 120 million euros available in bilateral support measures for the people of Ukraine. This makes Germany the second-largest donor in Ukraine, after the United States.
Difficult situation in Debaltseve
In his statement, the Foreign Minister also touched on the situation in the disputed city of Debaltseve. After the ceasefire negotiations, he said, Debaltseve was the place where the whole process could be derailed. It was therefore important to keep the parties on track to take the next step in implementing the Minsk agreements, the Foreign Minister went on.
Steinmeier had previously spoken to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the phone. During their conversation, Steinmeier made it clear that what the separatists were doing in Debaltseve constituted a violation of the ceasefire agreement.