Minsk Peace Process: Steinmeier welcomes pullback of forces in eastern Ukraine
Politics13:03 Sep. 22, 2016

Steinmeier welcomes pullback of forces in eastern Ukraine

German Foreign Minister warns there are no guarantees of progress as previous agreements failed to take hold

Germany praised the latest agreement on withdrawal of troops and weapons from the contact line in eastern Ukraine as a "new progress" in the stalled Minsk peace process.

However, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that much still needs to be done:

"We have had to learn that neither pronouncements of good will nor commitments about the withdrawal of weapons were sufficient to achieve a lasting ceasefire," he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

"If the parties to the conflict are unwilling to stick to already signed agreements, there will be no progress," Steinmeier warned.

On Wednesday Ukrainian officials and Russian-backed militant leaders agreed on a withdrawal of troops from three front line sectors in eastern Ukraine.

Germany's top diplomat, who visited Ukraine last week, noted that other measures must follow to achieve separation along the whole line of conflict:

"Additional areas [for withdrawals of troops] must be agreed soon to ensure the disengagement of forces along the entire line of confrontation," Steinmeier said.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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