Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Riga today (13 September) ahead of his visit to Ukraine tomorrow:
“Jean-Marc Ayrault and I will not flag in our efforts to remind the parties to the conflict, both in Kyiv and Moscow, of their responsibility for reaching a political settlement in eastern Ukraine and implementing the Minsk agreements.
No matter how fragile it now is once again, the ceasefire agreed to mark the start of the new school year shows us that we can still change things for the better and that we can do so repeatedly.
This is why I believe it is possible to agree now and without preconditions on a lasting ceasefire – and I continue to believe this after my talks with Pavlo Klimkin a few days ago in Berlin and with Sergey Lavrov yesterday.
What is needed is the willingness to compromise, on all sides, and the will to actually implement what has already been agreed.
For this reason, we want to speak with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Groysman and the main political players in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine about how we can breathe new life into the Minsk process.
We have already put forward our proposals for doing so, that is, for upholding the ceasefire and for the political process.
Without the OSCE, the conflict in eastern Ukraine would have escalated a long time ago. This is why, in my capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, I would like to express my great respect and my appreciation for the courageous women and men in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine who work day after day at the conflict line in eastern Ukraine to prevent things from getting worse.”