On the evening before his trip to St Petersburg for tripartite talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his Polish colleague Sikorski Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement:
For the first time now in months, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel in the Ukraine conflict. We are still not close enough to a solution to the Ukraine crisis. But after weeks and months of intensive diplomatic efforts, the parties to the conflict are now finally speaking to one another directly.
The dialogue that is now beginning between the Ukrainian and the Russian leadership must not under any circumstances become derailed again. The contact group that has now been established with representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE must focus in close coordination on ending the violence and continuing the round tables of the National Dialogue that has just begun.
In the talks due to be held in St Petersburg, I would like to discuss with Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov and Poland’s Foreign Minister Sikorski how the positive momentum of the last few days can be used to make the process of de‑escalation irreversible.