Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (2 July) ahead of today’s Ukraine conference in Berlin:
The situation in eastern Ukraine is very dangerous. The fighting on the ground has already intensified on a massive scale. An explosion in violence which could not be brought under control either politically or militarily could occur at any time.
Against this background, we have to exhaust every, absolutely every, possibility to prevent that happening. That is why I invited my colleagues to Berlin to take part in today’s quadripartite conference.
The fact that the Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers are coming to Berlin today for talks with Laurent Fabius and myself on how to move towards a swift de-escalation is in itself an important and positive sign.
It would be good if we could agree today on solid steps towards an enduring mutual ceasefire. However, that will be far from easy. But, only if the guns are silent, only on the basis of a sustainable ceasefire, are negotiations on resolving the crisis even conceivable.
The Foreign Ministers of France, Russia and Ukraine are expected to arrive in Berlin this afternoon to discuss the crisis in Ukraine at the Federal Foreign Office.