News from Germany: Steinmeier urges Ukraine and Russia to refrain from escalating situation in Crimea

16:26 Aug. 14, 2016

Steinmeier urges Ukraine and Russia to refrain from escalating situation in Crimea

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (AP Photo)

Earlier this week Moscow accused Kyiv of trying to send "saboteurs into Black Sea peninsula", annexed by Russia in 2014 

Germany expects Ukraine and Russia to refrain from any steps that could lead to further deterioration of the situation in Crimea.

Read also Canada Responds to Tensions in Crimea: No evidence to support Russian allegations

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made this statement, published on the site of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"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 (August 15)", Steinmeier said.

He also urged both parties to continue working on implementation of the Minsk ceasefire deal.

"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", Steinmeier said. "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."

Tensions between Ukraine and Russian escalated earlier this week when Moscow accused Kyiv of trying to send saboteurs into Crimea and reported the deaths of a soldier and an FSB officer, who foiled the alleged plot.

Denying the accusations, Ukraine put its troops on combat alert along its administrative border with Crimea, fearing another Russian provocation.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014 in a move not recognized and widely condemned by the US and the majority of Western countries.

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