At the G7 meeting which took place on April 11, 2017 in Italian Lucca Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State of the U.S., that Donald Trump was not interested in Ukraine, as Sigmar Gabriel, former Foreign Minister of Germany, said in the interview for Spiegel.
According to Gabriel, then, he was surprised with the statement of the American State Secretary, and told him: “You can’t be serious”. And Tillerson replied: “I just wanted to prepare you for how my president thinks. He isn't interested in Ukraine”.
“It also has a good side, if we Europeans are forced to take our fate into our own hands,” Gabriel thinks.
Besides, Gabriel was asked about his positions concerning the gradual cancellation of anti-Russian sanctions together with the deployment of UN forces in Ukraine.
“If Russia is willing to pull back heavy weapons and agrees to a blue-helmet mission, then the logical next step would be to dismantle the sanctions,” former Foreign Minister of Germany said.
Answering the question about Germany’s role in the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Gabriel specified that “Once Germany takes on the temporary seat in the U.N. Security Council (at the beginning of 2019), it should be our focus to push through a blue-helmet mandate. The proposal for it is already on the table from President Petro Poroshenko and from Putin. They differ on the conditions. Negotiating those conditions, I believe, is the right thing to do”.
The meeting of the Foreign Ministries of G7 (U.S., Great Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan) was held on April 11, 2017. In a joint communique, they declared their unity concerning the anti-Russian sanctions till the country fulfils the Minsk Agreements completely. On the same day, Rex Tillerson, the then Secretary of State, before his visit to Moscow, asked his European colleagues from G7 why the American voters should worry about the conflict in Ukraine.
It should be noted that the first Trump-Poroshenko meeting was held after Trump’s inauguration on June 20, 2017.
On September 20, Trump has enhanced the sanctions regime against Russia again for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, in particular.