After his consultations on the Ukraine crisis with the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Ukraine – Laurent Fabius, Sergey Lavrov and Pavlo Klimkin – Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in the night of 17-18 August:
These were vital talks at a difficult time. You have all been following the news and know that there have again been violent clashes in eastern Ukraine.
I am very grateful that my counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France again responded to my invitation and came to Berlin. We sat together for many hours this afternoon and evening.
These are meetings where we can speak frankly – and that is necessary in situations like this.
We discussed the issue of how to pave the way towards the urgently needed ceasefire in Ukraine. We discussed the issue of how to improve and optimise the still inefficient control of the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Of course we also discussed issues of humanitarian assistance for the stricken civilian population. And we discussed the crucial question: on the back of these individual issues, how can we relaunch a political process by which this crisis can be overcome – not overnight, certainly, but little by little.
These were difficult talks, but I believe and hope that we have indeed made progress on individual issues. Now we will – as agreed – report back to our heads of state and government in our capitals first of all and then, on Monday or Tuesday, agree on a format to resume our talks.
Our aim remains to contribute, within the scope of our possibilities, to bringing about an end to the fighting in Ukraine and to avoiding further bloodshed in future where at all possible.