Ukraine crisis: Baerbock and Lavrov emphasize willingness to talk

Status: 01/18/2022 1:44 p.m

During her first visit to Moscow, Foreign Minister Baerbock spoke to her Russian counterpart Lavrov about the Ukraine crisis. They want to work together to reactivate the negotiations in the Normandy format.

During her first visit to Moscow, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock declared Germany’s willingness to hold talks on security in Europe soon. At a meeting with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, given the Ukraine crisis, talks were held about reactivating negotiations in the so-called Normandy format with France and Ukraine. In addition, both sides have committed to the Minsk peace plan.

Baerbock explained that the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine was acknowledged and that there was no comprehensible reason for this. “It’s difficult not to take that as a threat,” said the Foreign Minister. It is understood that Russia demands security guarantees and is ready for a serious dialogue on joint agreements.

Lavrov said Russia could continue the Normandy format talks under certain conditions. “We hope that the German partners will convince their friends in Kiev to carry out their duties,” said Lavrov. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy must also adhere to the Minsk agreement. Larov said of the current situation: “We have refuted attempts to portray the Russian Federation as a party to the conflict.”

Fundamental interest in stable relationships

Baerbock said there was a whole range of issues on which there were fundamental differences of opinion between Germany and Russia. “There will be no security in our common house of Europe if there are not common rules that everyone can rely on.” This includes, for example, the European Convention on Human Rights – she is also thinking of the case of the imprisoned opposition politician Navalny.

Baerbock also emphasized Germany’s fundamental interest in stable relationships. People live together in Europe, trade with each other and have scientific and cultural exchanges. With a view to the climate crisis, Baerbock said: “We are also very interested in Russia’s potential for renewable energies.” There is great potential for green hydrogen, for example.

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