“I think Russia should also be interested in normalizing relations, especially with Europe. And from my point of view, overcoming the conflict in eastern Ukraine would be an important step towards this. We, together with our French partners, are negotiating with Ukraine and Russia. And I think this step would help to normalize relations between Europe and Russia," the German Foreign Minister said.
When asked whether he really believes that Crimea will someday be returned to Ukraine, Maas replied that this is the position of his country, although he is aware that this will be extremely difficult.
Earlier, Foreign Ministers of G7 countries condemned the ongoing actions of Russia on the disruption of the sovereignty of Ukraine, territorial integrity and independence as the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office reported.
“We unequivocally denounce Russia’s temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. Russia’s attempts to legitimise it are not, and will not, be recognised. We condemn Russia’s violations of human rights on the peninsula, particularly of Crimean Tatars. We call on Russia to respect its international obligations, allow access to international monitors, and to immediately release all those who are unjustly detained. We welcome in principle Ukraine’s initiative to establish an International Crimean Platform to consolidate the international community’s efforts on Crimea,” the message says.
Moreover, the foreign ministers firmly oppose Russia’s continued destabilization of Ukraine, especially Russia’s actions in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.