West, Russia’s views of Minsk agreements differ - Baerbock

West, Russia’s views of Minsk agreements differ - Baerbock

The revival of the Normandy process would be a major step toward improving the security situation in Europe, despite maintaining different views.

This was stated by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok at a joint press conference with Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on January 18, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

It is important to revive the Normandy process and move forward with the implementation of the Minsk agreements as "it would be a big step toward greater security for Europe, for all of us," Baerbock said.

Read also: Zelensky, Baerbock talk Russian aggression, Nord Stream 2

She noted that during the talks in Kyiv the day before and in Moscow today she was discussing possible steps on how to launch negotiations "at all levels," including at that of foreign ministers. Baerbock welcomed the fact that all parties agree on the need to continue negotiations on the implementation of the Minsk agreements within the Normandy Four platform.

However, Germany’s top diplomat noted that Berlin and Moscow "still have different views on the facts on the ground and the implementation of the Minsk agreements." It is all the more important, she added, to continue the talks and return to the negotiating table in the Normandy format.

Baerbock noted the amassing "for no apparent reason" of more than 100,000 Russian troops and hardware along Ukraine's border, noting that it was "difficult not to understand this as a threat." The federal government, along with allies and partners in the EU, NATO, and the G7, will have to respond to the situation, as it cannot be left to its own devices.

Read also: Ukraine, Germany committed to diplomatic settlement of conflict in eastern Ukraine - Kuleba

The German Foreign Minister reiterated that, if energy is weaponized, which has been emphasized at various levels, including in the Government's Coalition Agreement, it will have corresponding consequences in view of the Nord Stream 2 project. Regarding the project certification process, she noted that all infrastructure energy projects, including this one, are subject to European rules.

Baerbock mentioned that Russia demanded security guarantees from the West. "We are ready for a serious dialogue and discussion of steps that will bring better security to everyone on the continent," she said.

Annalena Baerbock made her first visits to Ukraine on January 17 before traveling to Russia on January 18, also for the first time.


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