There can be no military solution to the conflict

Ukraine crisis There can be no military solution to the conflict

During her visit to Budapest, Chancellor Angela Merkel has again urged that a peaceful solution be found to the Ukraine conflict. "I am absolutely convinced that there can be no military solution to this conflict," she said. Germany will not supply weapons to Ukraine, she declared.

"For my part, I can assure you that Germany will not supply Ukraine with weapons," confirmed Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Earlier, at the government press conference, deputy government spokesperson Christiane Wirtz had said that the German government has repeatedly rejected a military solution to the conflict. "I can say with certainty that a military solution is not the path that the German government wishes to take in the Ukraine crisis," said the spokesperson.

Solution to be based on Minsk Protocol

Angela Merkel said that she and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán agreed that "We must endeavour to bring about a ceasefire as rapidly as possible." The Minsk Protocol offers a good starting point for achieving a stable situation once more with the territorial integrity of Ukraine assured.

Contact Group provides an opportunity

On Sunday the Chancellor expressed her regret that the Contact Group meeting had been adjourned. In a telephone conversation with French President François Hollande and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko all agreed that discussion within the scope of the Contact Group, which brings together representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and the pro-Russian separatists, was urgently needed.

The separatists are called on not to block talks. Russia must exert its influence on the separatists to bring home this message. The overriding goal, in view of the continuing violence in the east of the country, must be to agree on a lasting ceasefire. The Chancellor and her interlocutors are convinced that the Minsk agreements signed in September 2014 should remain the basis for talks.

EU sanctions extended ahead of the deadline

Following the most recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine the EU ministers of foreign affairs agreed at a special meeting on 29 January to extend the travel bans and asset freezes already in place on Russian and Ukrainian citizens until September. The violence demonstrated by the separatists is not acceptable, said Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier after the talks. With a view to the humanitarian situation their approach is "intolerable in every respect".

In their resolutions, the EU ministers condemned the latest outbreak of violence and called on the parties to the conflict to lay down their arms. The ministers decided to extend the existing travel bans and asset freezes on 132 Russians and Ukrainians and on 28 businesses and organisations ahead of the deadline until September. Within a week, the European Commission and the European External Action Service are to propose other individuals to add to the list.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini called the meeting of ministers of foreign affairs at short notice following the attacks on the eastern Ukrainian port of Mariupol on 24 June. A rocket attack killed more than 30 people in the city.