Germany has ruled out the possibility of recognizing the legality of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a German-Russian Forum in Potsdam (Germany) as cited by the press service of the German Foreign Ministry.
-The annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Eastern Ukraine are a gross violation of international law and we can neither ignore it nor accept. How shall we respond then? It has always been clear that recognizing the annexation, as well as a military solution to the conflict in Ukraine are out of question, he said.
Steinmeier believes the sanctions imposed against Russia are neither a goal nor a "means to put Russia on the knees."
- No one is interested in destroying Russia’s economy. It certainly won’t protect Europe! The sanctions should be an incentive for political behavior aimed at ending the conflict, he said.
The politician went on saying that so far the implementation of the Minsk Agreements is unsatisfactory, as well as the security situation.
- A progress in the political process is inadequate. I do not hide my disappointment ... We must return to the common European security architecture, and in order to do it we need to resolve the conflict in Ukraine that is impossible without contributions by both parties, said Steinmeier.
On May 28, President of Russia Vladimir Putin responded to a statement by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko who said Donbas and Crimea would be returned as well as a Ukrainian female pilot Nadiya Savchenko was. According to Putin, the Donbas issue can be solved solely in compliance with the Minsk Agreements. As for occupied Crimea, the Russian leader claimed this issue is closed.