• Germany's news in English

Germany warns Russia, but coy on sanctions

AFP · 5 Mar 2014, 13:53

Published: 05 Mar 2014 13:53 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Berlin regards the situation in Ukraine as "alarming," Seibert said.

"As a result of Russia's actions, the situation in Crimea goes against international agreements that Russia has signed up to. It's a situation which is not acceptable," the spokesman continued.

Diplomacy was the only way forward, Seibert insisted.

"It must be clear to everyone that the territorial integrity of Ukraine must be upheld," he said.

"It is of paramount importance that all sides show restraint. If there is to be a diplomatic process then everything must be undertaken to ensure the stability of Ukraine. And no action must be undertaken which could lead to destabilization," Seibert said.

According to diplomatic sources in Vienna, member states of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have agreed to send military observers to Ukraine.

"We welcome that the first steps of a fact-finding mission are being taken," Seibert said.

"Talks between the international community and the Russian government, and with president (Vladimir) Putin in particular must continue," he said.

Germany and its partners are trying to support the new government in Ukraine in stabilizing the country's economic and social problems, Seibert continued.

Asked about possible sanctions against Russia, he was more evasive.

"Since Monday, we've seen no real positive developments in Crimea," Seibert said.

"Talks are underway to see if a contact group can be set up. These talks haven't been broken off yet. They're still ongoing but we're not over the hill just yet. It's very important that progress is made in these talks," Seibert said.

Story continues below…

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the minister had already warned in Brussels that "if Russia takes no steps to de-escalate the situation then measures will have to be taken on the part of the EU”.

If, for example, efforts to set up a contact group were to run aground, "then you can expect that the EU summit will table restrictive measures against Russia," the spokeswoman said.

Treatment for the injured

Meanwhile, Germany's military said on Wednesday it would fly around 50 Ukrainians injured during the unrest in Kiev to the EU country for treatment.

The move follows a request by the Ukrainian government to the German embassy in Kiev for help with the group, the defence ministry said in a statement.
"It's a question of people injured in the past weeks following the unrest on the Maidan (Kiev's central Independence Square), not from the Crimea peninsula," it said.
Independence Square became the epicentre of anti-government protests sparked when pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych ditched a deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.
The German military, together with a team of doctors, will first assess the injured in Kiev and prepare them for travel to Germany, it added.
The patients will be taken to hospitals depending on the type of injury and available capacity.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd