Germany says situation in eastern Ukraine "explosive"

2015-08-17 05:16


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Berlin - Calling the situation in eastern Ukraine "explosive", Germany's foreign minister urged both parties in the conflict to come together quickly for talks to prevent a spiral in violence.

In a newspaper interview on Sunday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he had proposed in talks with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts that Kiev and pro-Russian separatists sit down urgently with representatives from the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) to try to reduce tensions.

"The situation in eastern Ukraine is explosive," he told the Bild am Sonntag.

"There is a lot at stake. If both parties in the conflict don't return to the peace process, a new military escalation spiral could be triggered at any time."

A peace deal signed in mid-February in the Belarus capital Minsk has eased but not ended the violence in eastern Ukraine, with Kiev and rebels trading blame over the past week for repeated violations of a ceasefire.

Last Monday, Ukraine accused the separatists of carrying out the heaviest artillery attacks on government positions near the port city of Mariupol in half a year. The rebels have denied attacking government troops.

Read more on:    germany  |  ukraine

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