Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (19 November 2019) before flying to Ukraine:
After years of stalemate, efforts to resolve the conflict surrounding eastern Ukraine have finally picked up momentum again, not least thanks to the determined approach of President Zelensky. The disengagement of troops in Petrivske, Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska has brought relief to thousands of people, but as long as the ceasefire continues to be violated hundreds of times each day, the situation for the people living on the contact line remains unbearable. The withdrawal of troops, which was achieved in these three places through painstaking diplomatic efforts, therefore needs to become a reality along the entire contact line as soon as possible. We will continue to do everything in our power to help, in cooperation with France.
We now have the best opportunity in a long time to finally take decisive steps towards finding a solution to the crisis. I therefore want to explore with President Zelensky and his Government what obstacles still need to be removed along the path towards this goal as well as what progress from the past few weeks we can build on. And we want to use everything at our disposal to help Ukraine to alleviate its people’s suffering. Time is pressing if this is to occur before the outbreak of winter.