Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 28 December issued the following statement on the latest developments in Ukraine:
The exchange of several hundred prisoners in Ukraine that has resulted from the latest round of Minsk talks is an important and encouraging signal. The priority now must be to build on this and to work as hard as we can to resolve the other key issues of the Minsk Protocol, such as finalising the disengagement lines. The wintry conditions in Ukraine make it all the more urgent that viable agreements be reached on the question of humanitarian assistance for the people of eastern Ukraine.
We support the OSCE’s untiring efforts to bring all sides back to the negotiating table as soon as possible for a further meeting of the Contact Group. All sides, including Moscow, remain called upon to make constructive use of their influence on those involved to this end and thus to make an important contribution towards stabilising the situation. Given the precarious situation in the region, time is of the essence. We owe it to the people of Ukraine to do everything we can to improve the situation and work on implementing the Minsk Protocol.