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A peace initiative for Ukraine: Maas travels to the conflict region in Donbass

Foreign Minister Maas in Kyiv

Foreign Minister Maas in Kyiv , © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

31.05.2018 - Article

People are still dying as fighting continues in eastern Ukraine. Foreign Minister Maas wants to launch a new diplomatic effort.

On Thursday (31 May), Foreign Minister Maas will set off on a trip to Kyiv and the disputed Donbass region. The aim of the Foreign Minister’s visit is to bring new momentum to the peace process that has dragged on for many years. In Kyiv, Maas will hold talks with Foreign Minister Klimkin and President Petro Poroshenko, before travelling to the conflict region in the east of the country the next day. In Donbass, the Foreign Minister will gain a first-hand impression of the local population’s situation, as well as meet with observers of the independent OSCE mission.

This conflict deserves to be at the top of the agenda

Foreign Minister Maas meets with Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, in Kyiv
Foreign Minister Maas meets with Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, in Kyiv© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

More than 10,000 people have been killed since fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine. These days, the conflict hardly ever makes the news, even though the number of victims increases week by week. Millions are living in ruins. Schools and hospitals have been destroyed.

Germany supports the independent OSCE observers in the conflict region. They monitor whether the sides to the conflict are adhering to the Minsk Agreement. In it, both sides among other things committed to a ceasefire in 2014. Nearly four years later, however, the guns have not yet been silenced in Donbass.

„Visible results“

For Foreign Minister Maas, one thing is clear. It’s high time for the international community to fully re-engage, with a view to achieving a peaceful solution. “Visible results are key,” Maas said. The Foreign Minister is looking to bring the sides to the conflict back to the negotiation table, so that the Minsk peace plan can finally be implemented. The intention is, as a first step, to soon hold a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, in the so-called Normandy format.

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