Ukraine again 'explosive', Germany warns

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Ukraine again 'explosive', Germany warns
A tank belonging to the Ukrainian army in Kiev. Photo: DPA

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned on Sunday that conditions in Ukraine once again threatened to tip Europe into a full-blown military conflict.


"The situation in eastern Ukraine is explosive," Steinmeier told Bild Am Sonntag.

"There's a lot at stake: if both parties to the conflict don't pay heed to the peace processs, we could enter a new spiral of military escalation at any time."

Steinmeier has been engaged in a whirlwind round of visits and phone calls over the past week with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in an attempt to bring the two sides together for talks.

He suggested that "the armies of the parties to the conflict and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) come together to discuss how the situation can be defused and the removal of arms can succeed."

Sunday saw the "most intensive shooting for months" in Ukraine, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army told journalists in Kiev.

Four people were killed in the space of 24 hours and 23 people injured over the weekend.

Both the government in Kiev and leaders of the separatist eastern rebels have tried to lay the blame at the other side's feet.

The OSCE said on Sunday that the separatists had refused its observers access to their heavy weapons, which according to the Minsk Accords signed in February are supposed to have been withdrawn from the front lines.

Germany played a key role in brokering a ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine and the Kiev government in February, nearly a year after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.

SEE ALSO: Germans, Russians trust each other less and less


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also