Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (1 March) on the situation in Ukraine:
These are dangerous developments that we have seen in Ukraine over the last few hours. Tensions have increased dramatically, especially in Crimea. Anyone who now adds fuel to the fire, be it with words or with actions, is deliberately seeking to stir up tensions. It is in no one’s interest for the conflict to escalate. Political leaders still have the chance to prevent further deterioration of the situation and the possibility of unforeseeable consequences.
Everything Russia does on the Crimean peninsula must be fully in keeping with Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and with the agreements concerning Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. We hold the Russian Government to its public assurances on this issue. These oblige 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.
We are liaising closely with our partners on this matter. It is in my view essential that we in Europe meet urgently to agree on a united stance for the European Union.