Politics

Germany says ‘ball in Russia’s court’ to resolve disputes with Europe

Foreign Minister Maas says Moscow should take steps to de-escalate tensions, resolve conflict in eastern Ukraine

Ayhan Simsek   | 23.11.2021
Germany says ‘ball in Russia’s court’ to resolve disputes with Europe

BERLIN

Germany on Tuesday urged Russia to refrain from escalatory actions near its border with Ukraine.

“The latest news about the Russian troop movements near the Ukrainian border is extremely worrying,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum.

He reiterated that the EU wants better relations with Russia, but also underlined that this would depend on Moscow’s steps to de-escalate tensions, and to contribute to a solution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Maas criticized Russia for refusing to hold a ministerial meeting with Germany, France and Ukraine to discuss the conflict, and said the latest news about a large military build-up near the Ukrainian border was worrying.

“These developments show that the ball is in Russia’s court to resolve the existing problems. I am firmly convinced that the European Union will speak with one voice here,” he said.

Several US media outlets reported earlier that the Biden administration officially warned its European allies that Russia may well be planning another invasion of the neighboring country.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied these allegations on Tuesday.

"We have repeatedly stated at various levels that Russia is not going to attack anyone, does not have any aggressive plans,” he told reporters at a briefing in Moscow.

Ukraine has been plagued by conflict in its eastern regions since March 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Western nations accuse Russia of destabilizing the region by providing military support to the separatists.

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