Ukrainian president makes first official visit to Berlin

Ukrainian president makes first official visit to Berlin

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made his first official visit to Berlin today. Poroshenko urged his German allies to take a more resolute position in relations with Russia. The Ukrainian leader dedicated a lot of time to discussions on shipments of lethal weapons to his country at the Munich Security Conference. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not given approval to Ukraine’s request yet.

In February, Merkel persuaded U.S. President Barack Obama to at least postpone the talks on weapon shipments. If the same topic was discussed by Poroshenko and Merkel, it has not become a highlight in the press. She asked Ukraine to be more moderate and assured that sanctions against Russia would only be imposed in dire need. Merkel reiterated that Germany did not recognize the annexation of Crimea.

Gerrman Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the Ukrainian problem would not be the priority topic at the upcoming talks of EU chief diplomats in Brussels at the end of the week. Obviously, Germany takes the loss of Crimea by Ukraine as a given, which does not, however, stop Germany from verbally supporting Kiev. Berlin has no new sanctions or demands for Russia.

In a recent interview with Bild, Poroshenko expressed the opinion that Russia should be deprived of the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Merkel did not show any support for Poroshenko, even when he reminded about the involvement of Russian soldiers in the east of Ukraine.

Germany is in an ambivalent state, where conservative Merkel shows a more harsh attitude and socialist Steinmeier shows more moderation. The German socialists want to maintain constructive ties with Russia within the framework of the Ostpolitik policy (eastern policy) of ex-Chancellor Willy Brandt and ex-President Walter Scheel. The policy was aimed at maintaining dialogue with the east during the Cold War and searches for compromises.

Merkel and Steinmeier might also have been playing the good cop/bad cop trick. Merkel criticized the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, because the ceasefire was not in full force. She said that the pro-Russian rebels were not properly controlling and documenting the withdrawal of forces. Merkel added that the ICRC didn't have full access to the Donetsk and Luhansk territories.

Steinmeier urged Poroshenko to comply with the Minsk Agreements due to their fruitfulness. He noted positive developments. In his words, the ceasefire was mostly in force, military vehicles were withdrawn, OSCE observers had access to most disputed territories in the east of Ukraine.

Poroshenko stated that the war was not an excuse for slow internal reforms. Merkel expressed respect towards the work done by the Ukrainian government. She said that Germany will grant Ukraine aid worth 500 million euros, compared with the surplus of 18 billion euros in the German budget in 2014.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has made his first official visit to Berlin today. Poroshenko urged German allies to take a more resolute position in relations with Russia. The Ukrainian leader dedicated a lot of time to discussions on shipments of lethal weapons to his country at the Munich Security Conference. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not given approval to Ukraine’s request yet.In February, Merkel persuaded U.S. President Barack Obama to at least postpone the talks on weapon shipments. If the same topic was discussed by Poroshenko and Merkel, it has not become a highlight in press. She asked Ukraine to be more moderate and assured that sanctions against Russia would only be imposed in dire need. Merkel reiterated that Germany did not recognize annexation of Crimea.Gerrman Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the Ukrainian problem would not be the priority topic at the upcoming talks of EU chief diplomats in Brussels at the end of the week. Obviously, Germany takes the loss of Crimea by Ukraine as givenness, it does not, however, stop Germany from verbally supporting Kiev. Berlin has no new sanctions or demands for Russia.In a recent interview with Bild, Poroshenko expressed an opinion that Russia should be deprived of the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Merkel did not show any support to Poroshenko even when he reminded about involvement of Russian soldiers in the east of Ukraine.Germany is in an ambivalent state, where conservative Merkel shows a more harsh attitude and socialist Steinmeier shows more moderation. German socialists want to keep constructive ties with Russia within the framework of the Ostpolitik policy (eastern policy) of ex-Chancellor Willy Brandt and ex-President Walter Scheel. The policy was aimed at maintaining dialogue with the east during the Cold War and searches for compromises.Merkel and Steinmeier could have also been playing the good cop/bad cop trick. Merkel criticized the realization of the Minsk Agreements because the ceasefire was not in full force. She said that the pro-Russian rebels were not properly controlling and documenting withdrawal of forces. Merkel added that the ICRC had no full access to Donetsk and Luhansk territories.Steinmeier urged Poroshenko to comply with the Minsk Agreements due to their fruitfulness. He noted positive developments. In his words, the ceasefire was mostly in force, military vehicles were withdrawn, OSCE observers had access to most disputed territories in the east of Ukraine.Poroshenko stated that the war was not an excuse for slow inner reforms. Merkel expressed respect towards the work done by the Ukrainian government. She said that Germany will grant Ukraine aid worth 500 million euros, compared with the surplus of 18 billion euros in the German budget in 2

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