A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (22 July) on the first anniversary of the agreement reached in the Trilateral Contact Group on “additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine:
Precisely one year ago today, additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire were agreed in the Trilateral Contact Group, in which Russia and Ukraine are engaged in negotiations on a resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine with the mediation of the OSCE. This led to a tangible reduction in hostilities in eastern Ukraine – and thus far fewer civilian and military casualties. The ceasefire was and is a sign of hope that peace is possible if decision-makers muster the necessary political will. However, we have recently observed intensified hostilities and increased numbers of victims, also among the civilian population.
We call on Russia and Ukraine to fully implement the summit conclusions agreed to in Paris in December 2019 in order to achieve palpable improvements for the people in eastern Ukraine. We call on Russia in particular to play a more constructive role in efforts to resolve the conflict than has been the case to date. This includes the urgently required opening of crossings on the contact line, which has been blocked by the separatists for months, as well as progress on demining and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Ukraine must also meet its obligations, for instance with regard to transposing what is known as the Steinmeier formula into Ukrainian law.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) must be enabled to monitor the ceasefire more effectively. It needs unhindered and secure access throughout the conflict region to this end. Together with France, Germany will continue to push hard for a permanent solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, for which the Minsk agreements continue to be the indispensable basis.