Ukraine's president, German's foreign minister discuss ways to facilitate Donbas peace process
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas have discussed ways to coordinate steps to settle the situation in Donbas, the Ukrainian Presidential Administration's press service has said.
"The development of the situation in Donbas has been discussed in details. Further steps to facilitate the peace process have been synchronized. Petro Poroshenko noted Heiko Maas' decision to go to the contact line to first-hand learn the situation caused by Russian aggression," it said.
The two officials stressed the importance of the deployment of a multinational UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas as early as possible, which would create a favorable condition for the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements. They supported the idea to consider this issue at the next meeting of Normandy foreign ministers.
Particular attention was paid to the release of Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages, namely Oleh Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh.
The Ukrainian president stressed that Russia still remains a source of destabilization of the situation in Ukraine, as evidenced by an attempt to assassinate an opposition Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko. Poroshenko noted that it was possible to identify those who prepared the crime thanks to a successful special operation by Ukraine's law enforcement agencies.
Poroshenko also mentioned a recent report on MH17, which once again proves Russia's involvement in the downing of the aircraft. It confirms the need not only to make Moscow liable internationally, in particular through tougher sanctions, but also to develop reliable safeguards to prevent such crimes by Russia.
The Ukrainian president also stressed that the construction of Nord Stream 2 creates additional risks for the security of natural gas supplies to Europe and gives an additional political advantage to Russia as the aggressor perceives it as total impunity.
In addition, the two officials discussed preparations for the 20th Ukraine-EU Summit, which is to be held in Brussels on July 9.