Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on today's recognition by President Putin of the separatist self-declared “People's Republics” in eastern Ukraine (21 February 2022):
Today's recognition by President Putin of the separatist self-declared “People's Republics” in eastern Ukraine constitutes a blatant breach of international law and is a severe blow to all diplomatic efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement and a political solution to the current conflict. Years of effort in the Normandy format and the OSCE are being destroyed deliberately and without any comprehensible reason. Russia's credibility in its commitment to a diplomatic solution to the crisis is suffering massive damage.
The recognition is yet another violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and we condemn it in the strongest terms. Germany remains steadfastly on Ukraine’s side within its internationally recognized borders. We will respond to this breach of international law. We are coordinating with our partners in this regard.
Since 2014, Russia has committed itself to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the associated negotiation formats, the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group mediated by the OSCE. Russia has also committed itself to implement the Minsk agreements in its capacity as a permanent member through United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2202. With its decision, Russia is breaking all these promises to the international community.
We call on Russia to reverse today’s decision and return to the path of diplomatic and political conflict resolution in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
We also reiterate our urgent call on Russia to withdraw its military build-up on the Ukrainian border. We explicitly warn Russia against any further military escalation.