On the margins of his visit to Morocco, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 22 January on the situation in eastern Ukraine:
I am shocked by today’s terrible events, particularly by the callous attack on civilians in Donetsk that once again cost the lives of so many innocent people. It is clear that among the conflict parties there are strong and ruthless groups that have no interest in de‑escalation and an end to the violence, and thus thwart all ongoing endeavours to restore peace. We must not allow them to succeed.
I therefore urgently call on all those who signed and are politically responsible for the Minsk Protocol and yesterday’s Berlin Declaration to fulfil their responsibility and now do everything in their power to take the first steps to a ceasefire. There is not much time left if we want to use what is perhaps the last chance for a peaceful solution; those in Moscow and Kyiv who are serious about their commitment to a political settlement must now stand up and do everything they can to halt the spiral of violence and counter‑violence. This includes implementing without delay the agreement reached yesterday in Berlin on the withdrawal of heavy weapons.