Ukraine presidential vote will play 'crucial role' in crisis: Steinmeier

13th May 2014, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that Ukraine's May 25 presidential vote will be crucial in bringing the country out of crisis, after he arrived in Kiev on a key visit.

"We all agree that the presidential election on May 25 will play a crucial role," Steinmeier told reporters after talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Steinmeier was in Ukraine to push for talks between authorities in Kiev and pro-Russian rebel leaders in the east of the country, who have claimed overwhelming support for independence in weekend referendums.

"The situation, especially in eastern Ukraine, remains very threatening," Steinmeier said.

He said nations in Europe "support your plan of holding a national dialogue under Ukrainian leadership.

"I hope this will create the conditions to take a step to bring back occupied territory, disarm armed groups step-by-step and reinstall the authority of the state."

Steinmeier was due to later meet interim president Oleksandr Turchynov.

© 2014 AFP

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