If Russian troops in the East of Ukraine had the same influence as the Soviet troops had in the former German Democratic Republic, specifically no influence, then it might be possible to hold the elections there. Markus Meckel, the penultimate foreign minister of the GDR and a member of the German Bundestag, said that about the recent Ambassador Reichel’s notorious statement before the reception of the German Embassy in Kyiv in the honor of the 25th anniversary of German-Ukrainian diplomatic relations.
“I’d like to get back to what the Ambassador said previously. He [Ernst Reichel] made a comparison with the situation in German Democratic Republic in 1990. I treat his statement in this way: if Russian troops in the East of Ukraine had the same influence as the Soviet troops had in the former German Democratic Republic, specifically no influence, then holding the elections it might be possible there. But this still needs to be provided and this is where the difficulty lies,” said Markus Meckel.
He also spoke of the special status for the occupied region.
“Currently there are a lot of discussions about the special status for the occupied Donbas region. I also think that it is quite reasonable and it makes sense. This also is reflected in the so-called Steinmeier formula, which deals with the status, rights for the region. But this is possible only under the condition of ensuring the control provided by the Ukrainian side. Meanwhile ensuring control is impossible due to the presence of heavy weapons and Russian troops.
Last year among the other European leading politicians Markus Meckel signed the petition to free Nadiya Savchenko.
“At the time when we signed the petition, it all was about the release of a specific person. There was nothing in common with the idea that she presented at that moment. It was important to release a person captured (and indeed she was captured). Internationally all the hostage and prisoners should be released. In no way it is related to how and to what extent her ideas changed.
Markus Meckel also spoke of the decommunisation process in Ukraine.
“Ukraine is one of the first and the last countries fighting for its independence and self-identification. I only see the problem that Ukraine is trying to do that by adopting laws,” he said.