- In a meeting with her Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov, German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock spoke in favor of a speedy resumption of peace negotiations in the Ukraine conflict.
- She stressed the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
- Lavrov advocated better bilateral relations. There is no substitute for a good relationship between Moscow and Berlin.
The green politician said that the resumption of peace negotiations is important for security in Europe. To this end, a subsequent meeting should take place in the form of Normandy – that is, mediated by Germany and France with Ukraine and Russia.
Lavrov stressed that Russia does not see itself as a party to the conflict. Barbock said it was important to breathe life into the Normandy process again – just like the day before during her visit to Ukraine. It is good that everyone adheres to the Minsk Peace Plan.
Berlin is ready for talks with Moscow
Barbock said there were different views of the deal. She wants to do everything to ensure a meeting on the Normandy level quickly.
Regarding the security guarantees that Russia demands from the West, Barbock said: “We are ready for a serious dialogue about agreements and mutual steps that will bring more security to all in Europe.”
Talks between the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were the first steps over the past week. Lavrov explained that Russia is now waiting for written proposals from the West.
Barbock: Good relations with Russia are important
On a large number of conflict issues, Lavrov said that Russia would like more constructive relations with Germany – on an equal footing, taking into account special interests.
“During my trip, I would like to make it clear that relations with Russia are very important for the new German government and for me personally,” Barbock said at the Foreign Ministry’s guesthouse in Moscow.
Why Ukraine is an issue in Moscow
Russia has massed nearly 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine. The West feared an invasion. The government in Moscow denies such plans. Rather, it is about security guarantees. Among other things, Russia demands a NATO commitment not to include Ukraine in the transatlantic military alliance. Allianz categorically rejects this. Despite these tensions, Barbock emphasized before leaving Berlin: “As the new federal government, we want strong and stable relations with Russia.”
The Minsk peace plan negotiated by the Normandy formula for the conflict in eastern Ukraine is pending. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of violating the agreement.
Relations between Moscow and Berlin are currently at their lowest point. After Georgi was murdered in Tiergarten, Berlin in August 2019, a court indicted Russia and accused Moscow of “state terrorism”. The two countries have expelled each other’s diplomats.
Germany blames Russia for hacker attacks on the Bundestag in 2015 and an attack on Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny using the internationally banned chemical warfare agent Novichok. In addition, Moscow is outraged by the interruption of broadcasting of the German program of state radio RT.
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