On the margins of his visit to Tunis, Foreign Minister Steinmeier today (25 April) issued the following statement on the current situation in Ukraine:
The latest developments indicate that the conflict over Ukraine continues to escalate. The reports coming in of violence and deaths make clear that things cannot go on like this!
This is not the way to resolve the conflict.
Quite the reverse, in fact. Day after day of violence and confrontation further dims any prospect of defusing the conflict by diplomatic means.
All sides must now see reason!
Those responsible for the escalation must realise that if the wrong decisions are now taken, decades of work for peace and security in Europe could be wasted.
It would be folly to put all that at risk!
I call on Russia and Ukraine to exercise maximum restraint, return to the parameters of the Geneva accord and give its implementation a chance.
Before it comes to further bloodshed and deaths, Kyiv and Moscow have a responsibility to live up to the commitments they undertook in Geneva. These are:
1. To refrain from violence
2. To disarm illegal groups
3. To return occupied buildings to their legitimate owners
4. To grant amnesty
The OSCE stands ready to assist in this process. It must now be given the opportunity to implement the Geneva accord. It is entitled here to the active support of all parties.
For a change of course it is still not too late!