Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on the margins of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday evening (29 September) concerning the initialling of an agreement on the withdrawal of weapons from the frontline in eastern Ukraine:
The news from Minsk is good. The withdrawal of weapons, finally agreed upon today, is an important step towards securing the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, which I very much welcome.
Over many months, also at the last meetings of the Foreign Ministers in the Normandy Format, we have called time and again for progress on this issue.
However, this is not enough. We need more: heavy weapons must also now be withdrawn from the conflict areas and the OSCE’s role respected and strengthened, as agreed in Minsk. Many other points of the Minsk agreement have still to be implemented.
The summit in Paris on Friday is a relatively rare opportunity to now make substantial headway in the matter at hand. I hope that both Kyiv and Moscow are prepared to work towards this.