Speaking in Ulan Bator today (7 July), during a visit to Mongolia, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on the current situation in Ukraine:
Yesterday a meeting of the Contact Group did after all take place in Kyiv. The representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE sat down together at the negotiating table. We have heard that the talks were extremely difficult. Yet I say: Despite the change in the situation in eastern Ukraine in favour of the Ukrainian security forces, there will be no purely military solution to the conflict, especially since the majority of the separatists now seem to have entrenched themselves in Donetsk.
All sides would be well-advised to stay on the track set out by the Berlin agreement of last Wednesday, i.e. now that the talks within the Contact Group have been resumed, to continue the talks with representatives of the separatists in order to focus on achieving the most important aim – negotiating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. This necessary step to defuse the situation must be taken before political solutions can even be entertained.