• Germany's news in English

Germany and USA keep up Ukraine pressure

DPA/The Local · 12 Mar 2015, 08:36

Published: 12 Mar 2015 08:36 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“We are both still far from happy. Now we have to maintain the pressure on the belligerents,” Steinmeier said.

He called on his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to use his influence with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to uphold the patchy ceasefire which has been in place in recent weeks.

“We all insist that the withdrawal of heavy weapons needs to take place on both sides, and we all insist that it is critical that Russia cease its support for violations of the integrity of Ukraine and its sovereignty,” Kerry said.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that the alliance feared the separatists might withdraw their heavy weapons from the front line only to prepare a new offensive.

“We welcome the ceasefire, but it's critical that the observation be improved,” he said during a visit to Nato military headquarters at Mons in Belgium.

Earlier in Berlin, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international community announced it would make a $17.5 billion loan to Ukraine, extending what was previously an aid programme for cash-flow problems over the long term.

IMF director Christine Lagarde said that most of the money would be in Ukrainian hands within just a few months, hopefully making for “immediate economic stabilization” of the country.

Russia and the Putin sympathisers

Meanwhile, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov accused the USA of using the crisis as an excuse to put pressure on Moscow.

He particularly criticized the US' recent troop deployments in the Baltic states and said that Russia would not let it go unanswered.

Story continues below…

And former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt warned that the West should try to see things from Russian President Vladimir Putin's point of view.

It was “not completely out of the question” that the Ukraine conflict would “in fact turn into a 'hot war',” he told Bild on Thursday.

But for Putin, Ukraine was a sideshow compared to the threats Russia believes it faces on its southern and eastern borders from China, Pakistan and former Soviet republics in Central Asia, Schmidt said.

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

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

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 towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

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
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