German, Russian foreign ministers to discuss Ukraine

12th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for two days from Thursday to discuss issues including Ukraine's political crisis, a spokesman said.

"Ukraine is of course one of the important topics on the agenda," said the foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday, also mentioning Iran's nuclear programme, the Syrian war and bilateral as well as EU-Russian ties.

"We have an interest in all sides, inside and outside Ukraine, acting to resolve the conflict," he told reporters. "Sadly, in the past week there has been a standstill ... we don't really see progress.

"In view of the still difficult situation in Kiev, on the Maidan (square), and elsewhere, we think it's appropriate to resume and speed up all the efforts to resolve the conflict."

Ukraine has been in chaos since November when President Viktor Yanukovych ditched an EU trade and political pact in favour of closer ties with Moscow, its former Soviet master.

Since then, anti-government rallies have snowballed into a battle over Ukraine's future between Russia and Western powers, as the demonstrations have grown and spread to other parts of the country.

© 2014 AFP

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