Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement to the newspaper "Welt am Sonntag" today (14 August) on the latest tensions between Russia und Ukraine:
The latest escalation in Crimea must be a cause of concern to us. In what is already a difficult situation, no one stands to benefit from a further escalation.
We expect all sides to refrain from taking any steps that could lead to the situation escalating further. We also expect the incidents to be clarified in a way that can be verified objectively. We are in contact with both Ukraine and Russia on this matter. I will of course also discuss this topic with the Russian Foreign Minister during my visit to Yekaterinburg on Monday.
At the same time, it is incumbent upon both sides to continue working to implement the Minsk agreements. No one can be satisfied with the results to date. We are stuck at this point. For weeks now, we have been working on a framework agreement aimed at easing the tensions between the two parties to the conflict. It has not been possible to reach agreement so far, as neither side is willing to compromise. Despite intensive endeavours, there has been no tangible progress either as regards improving the security situation in eastern Ukraine or on reaching the necessary consensus on local elections.
Despite this very difficult situation, we are continuing to work with France to achieve the progress on implementing the Minsk agreement that is so urgently needed, above all by the people in Ukraine.