Maas in Moscow – a lot of expectations


The chances are that finally the movement of conflict in the Ukraine, are good. During his visit to Moscow Minister Heiko Maas formulated outside Berlin’s expectations of Russia.

Before the departure to Moscow Maas had appealed to the “constructive cooperation of Russia” in the Ukraine question. You can understand that as a diplomatically-worded prompt: come On, move. After the conversation in the guest house of the Moscow Ministry of foreign Affairs, Maas, what he meant to clarify: There is a “wide range of expectations,” from the Ukraine to Russia and Vice versa, but also from Germany to Russia.

There is no new victims, should be “” in the East of Ukraine, so Maas. The conflict would last much to long, and the so-called Minsk process, so the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, had been made in recent years, “a complete Halt”. Recently, there had been but little progress. At the points of the ceasefire and the so-called disengagement Maas sees “light at the end of the tunnel”. Now we must go further.

Movement through intermediate

Movement in the frozen conflict has come from the point of view of Germany by the new Ukrainian President Selenskyj. The last went on several controversial points in advance. Maas speaks of a “Momentum”. The hope that Russia will follow suit, this could show for example in the area of prisoner exchange. Here Germany has clear expectations. Heiko Maas calls in the press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the release of the Ukrainian sailors, who were taken from Russia in November 2018 in the Black sea, in the vicinity of the Kerch Strait festival. It came to that, that would be “a significant progress”.

A “significant advance”: Maas calls for the release of the in the Strait of Kerch prisoners sailors

The Momentum should now be used to set a table. The parties to the conflict Russia and Ukraine and the two intermediaries in Germany and France. Maas proposes that the four of us together, as soon as a new Ukrainian is Minister of foreign Affairs – a point in which Lavrov and his German colleague specifically agrees to do so. Together they could prepare a summit of heads of state and heads of government.

Such a summit had encouraged the President of France, Macron after a Meeting with Russia’s President Putin on Tuesday. Macron would like to put together “in the next few weeks” with Merkel, Selenskyj and Putin. The parties to the conflict under the mediation of Germany and France meet, in the so-called Normandy Format, had it over and over again, at Ministerial and expert level. Talks at the highest level, so the three presidents and the German Chancellor, was last updated in October 2016. Now Moscow sees seems to be a Momentum, says Heiko Maas “extraordinary”. Even more, he would be happy but probably would leave Moscow the Ukrainian Sailors free.