“In Moscow I discussed for a long time what we are really arguing about”
Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock (Greens) says she stressed during her visit to Moscow that Ukraine’s NATO membership is not on the agenda. Unlike the United States, Germany does not currently want to reduce the staff of its embassy in Kiev.
nAccording to Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock (Greens), Ukraine’s NATO membership is not currently on the agenda. “Everyone, including Russia, knows that this is not currently on the agenda,” Barbock told the newspapers of the Funke media group and the French newspaper “Aust-France” (Friday edition). “That’s why I had a long discussion with the Russian foreign minister in Moscow about what we’re really arguing about,” he said.
“I explained that international law and joint agreements apply to me, and they say: common security with free choice of alliance.” But he also clarified that “we are happy to re-read every sentence of the various European treaties”.
Bairbok traveled to Moscow and Kiev last week to talk about the Ukraine conflict. Given the heavy deployment of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine, the West is concerned that Russia is currently preparing to invade the neighboring country after its annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Kremlin categorically denies this.
At the same time, Russia is seeking agreements from the United States and NATO that would impose sanctions on NATO’s eastward expansion and the establishment of US military bases in countries of former Soviet sphere of influence.
Bairbok: embassy staff in Kiev will not be reduced
Unlike the United States and Great Britain, Germany does not currently want to reduce the staff of its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. “Like our EU partners, we have decided not to reduce the staff of the embassy in Kiev at present,” said Barbok. If family members of embassy employees wish to leave the country voluntarily, they may do so at the expense of the Federal Foreign Office.
Especially now it is important not to destabilize Ukraine, stressed Bairbok. “If economic actors feel that the situation in Ukraine as a whole is uncertain or unstable, the willingness to invest will be reduced.” It will “play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the minister insisted. “So my message to Kiev was: we want to expand economic cooperation with Ukraine. For example through energy partnerships, for example in the area of ’green hydrogen’.”
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