• Germany edition
 
Germany: 'Ukraine crisis worst since Berlin Wall'
Ukrainian troops in their surrounded barracks talk with armed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, in the village of Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol. Photo: DPA

Germany: 'Ukraine crisis worst since Berlin Wall'

Published: 03 Mar 2014 13:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Mar 2014 13:13 GMT+01:00

Russia's intervention means "the threat of a division of Europe is real again," Steinmeier said as he arrived for an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"But now is time for diplomacy. Diplomacy does not mean weakness but is more needed than ever to prevent us from being drawn into the abyss of military escalation," he said.
 
Steinmeier spoke as reports sourced to Ukraine border guards said Russian troops were moving into Crimea and as Moscow Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Kiev of attacking Russian minority rights.
 
The German minister said "the situation in Ukraine worsens every day and so far, an end to the escalation is not seen".
 
But that does not mean the die is cast, he said.
   
"A reversal is still possible and therefore today is the day for clear messages to Russia."
   
Russian "military activities are completely unacceptable from our point of view," Steinmeier added.
 
'No military option'
 
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday that it was not too late for a peaceful solution. 
   
Berlin and its partners support a solution "away from the logic of troop movements and the logic of soldier deployments and back to dialogue", said Seibert.
 
He said he saw "no military option" and that the German government "is not thinking in military terms" about the crisis.
 
After Merkel spoke with various leaders over the weekend, Seibert said Berlin would do everything it could to help end the Ukraine crisis.
 
"It is not yet too late to solve this crisis politically and peacefully," he told reporters.
  
Ministers going into Monday's talks said they had to make sure Russia understood the consequences of its actions and that everything was on the table, including sanctions.
   
"I don't want to rule anything in or rule anything out," said British Minister for Europe David Lidington.
   
If Russia persists in its course of action and refuses to engage in direct dialogue, then "that must come with a cost," Lidington said.
 
Stock markets reacted badly on Monday to the crisis. The German blue-chip DAX slumped by more than three percent in the morning. 
 
Late on Sunday Germany said Putin had accepted an offer from Merkel to set up a "contact group" with Ukraine over the crisis, but Moscow did not confirm the German reports.

"President Putin accepted the German chancellor's proposal to immediately establish a mission of enquiry as well as a contact group, possibly under the direction of the OSCE, to open a political dialogue," a statement from the German government said.

Western allies have condemned Russia's threat to invade its Western-leaning neighbour, which analysts say risks sparking the worst crisis since the Cold War.

Merkel told Putin the intervention was a violation of a 1994 Budapest memorandum on security assurances in which Russia committed itself to respecting the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine in its existing borders, as well as the 1997 treaty on the Russian Black Sea fleet, based in Crimea.

The memorandum was signed by Britain, Ukraine, Russia and the United States. The statement said Merkel called on Putin to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity.

SEE ALSO: Germany warns of 'new division of Europe'

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats
Photo: DPA

Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats

A man from Munich was arrested on Monday for posting videos on Facebook in which he posed with a gun and threatened to kill foreigners. READ  

View from Germany
'Only losers in economic war with Russia'
Volkswagen is the German company with the biggest turnover Russia. Photo: DPA

'Only losers in economic war with Russia'

German businesses are lobbying hard against imposing tougher sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, warning further sanctions would hurt the country's exports and threaten German jobs. READ  

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy
The Israeli Embassy in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy

UPDATE: A man set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Berlin on Monday night. Police said it was too soon to say whether it was part of a political protest. READ  

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway
Photo: NRW-aktuell.tv/YouTube screenshot

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway

Thousands of litres of beer were spilled on a motorway near Duisburg in western Germany on Monday night, when a truck carrying several hundred crates of Bitburger toppled over, shutting the Autobahn. READ  

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis
Photo: DPA

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis

Seriously ill patients will be allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for medicinal purposes, a German court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Seven German family members killed in Gaza
An Israeli strike on Gaza City on Monday. Photo: DPA

Seven German family members killed in Gaza

UPDATE: Seven members of a German family living in Gaza City were killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday evening. READ  

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum
Photo: DPA

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum

Workers in Germany are paying a record amount of tax into government coffers, according to figures published on Monday. Those on an average wage of €40,000 pay almost twice as much tax in Germany as they would in the United States or Australia. READ  

Netflix to launch in Germany in September
Laverne Cox, star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Photo: EPA/PETER FOLEY

Netflix to launch in Germany in September

Netflix revealed plans on Monday to launch in Germany in September this year, bringing the popular movie and TV streaming service to one of the world’s biggest markets. READ  

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia
An armed separatist walks past the bodybags of victims of the MH17 crash. Photo: EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia

Germany's foreign minister said Monday the EU will "raise the pressure" on Russia over the Ukraine crisis following the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 with a suspected missile. READ  

No foreigner road toll for German borders?
Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (l) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer are fighting over the "foreigner toll". Photo: DPA

No foreigner road toll for German borders?

Bavaria’s interior minister has called for German border regions to be exempt from a controversial project to charge foreigners to use the country’s roads, sparking a row within his own party. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Joachim Löw: A career in pictures
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
National
Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Should Germany follow France and ban the burqa?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,227
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd