News from Berlin

Germany, Russia and Poland Discuss Ukraine De-escalation

June 13th, 2014

News from Berlin - On Tuesday June 10th, Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travelled to St Petersburg to discuss the current situation in Ukraine with his Polish and Russian counterparts, Sikorski and Lawrow. This is not the first time these three countries have discussed foreign policy together, as the trialogue has been taking place once a year since 2009.

There are reasons to be optimistic with the resolution of the Ukraine crisis. Following the talks Steinmeier highlighted that for the first time in several months there is a significant opportunity to deescalate the situation. This is credible based on certain grounds. First of all, democratic elections have been seen recently in Ukraine, which is what the protesters had been pushing for. Additionally, the three foreign ministers agreed that it is in the interest of none of the three countries to divide Europe as they are economically interdependent  (Russia and Poland are Germany’s most important trade partners in Eastern Europe) and as all three are dedicated to European peace. Thirdly, the newly elected President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has stated that he is open to talks with Russia’s foreign minister. Lavrov said during the trialogue that he is confident that following a call for calm in Eastern Ukraine by Russia and the newly elected Ukrainian President,  the separatist would lay down their arms. Steinmeier assured journalists in the press conference following the trialogue that Russia agreed to use its leverage to push for peace, too. Finally, Poland’s foreign minister Sikorski stated that he does not see any danger for Russia, be it economic or political, if Ukraine was to join the European Union in the future, which is a good reason to believe in a solution to the situation and a return to peace.

The summit, even if it was largely focused on discussing Ukraine, was also aimed at enhancing cooperation between Germany, Russia and Poland in other areas such as Scientific and students exchanges, and working together towards common methods of preparing their diplomats for the diplomatic service.

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