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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko spoke words of praise to the strengthening economic ties between the countries last Monday. At the same time they expressed their concern over the recent news form Eastern Ukraine. Merkel marked the extension of trade relations between Germany and Ukraine, the volume of trade grew by 20% recently.
As for the tensions in Donbas, in the East of the country, the chancellor called the situation on the so-called contact line of the Ukrainian troops and the squads of the pro-Russian separatist “disturbing”. According to Merkel, it is even more important to rich the results in Minsk agreement as soon as possible, however it requires huge efforts.
Poroshenko thanked the Chancellor for the support of Germany and accused Kremline once again in conducting a hybrid war against his country. The President of Ukraine announced that Ukrainian soldiers died in clashes with the pro-Russian separatists forces on Sunday and Monday. In case all the efforts do not help to settle the conflict, the sanctions should be not only be extended, but also strengthened.
Thus the position haven’t changed neither in Kyiv nor in Berlin. Kyiv required to treat Moscow tougher for a long time already. Recently, former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier underlined once again that Moscow and the separatists bear the responsibility for the crisis.
But at the same time German government watch closely and with the increasing turbulence how the situation escalated on the so-called contact line. They realize that Ukrainian side also bears responsibility to wide extend. The tensions grow and finally four Ukrainian fighters died in the weekend firefight.
According to the data, Berlin is up, based on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports, it is Ukrainian soldiers who try to move the frontline for their own benefit. It’s obvious that they are taking into account the growth of the tensions, governmental authorities of Berlin consider. According to some German officials, their actions may lay account with such an escalation of the situation that they will be able to prevent the plans of the U.S. President Donald Trump on sanctions relief.
Berlin treats Poroshenko’s actions is a way that he will stoop nearly to anything to prevent lifting anti-Russian sanctions.
However, the concern of the German government over the Kyiv’s calculations may lead to the reverse effect. Thus, Trump may soften the sanctions regardless of the state of things on the contact line. And then Kyiv will suffer the double damage: easing of the situation for Russia and the escalation of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine at the same time. Will Germany manage to drive Kyiv off their own provocative actions, taking into account all the mentioned above? Berlin officials hesitate to answer the question.