Now that the world faces the crisis caused by coronavirus, the steps to implement the Minsk agreements are needed more than ever.
"Right now, we need the steps to further implement the decisions of the Normandy Summit in Paris, to implement the Minsk agreements," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said after a video conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
He added that "the situation in eastern Ukraine remains a priority of German foreign policy."
This, he said, includes further disengagement of forces, a larger number of crossing points in order to provide civilians with everything necessary, the real ceasefire regime.
"Coronavirus does not recognize borders, and right now we must together prevent the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine," Maas said. First and foremost, the people living in the conflict-torn area, especially the elderly residents, should be provided with everything necessary, including medicines.
German Foreign Minister also welcomed “the impulses of new President of Ukraine Zelensky, who made possible holding negotiations and high-level meetings in the Normandy format.” But there is much work ahead, the diplomat said.
As noted, the German Government reaffirms its support for Ukraine on the path towards peace, support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and strongly condemns Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.
The German Foreign Minister also recalled the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights which indicated that prisoners in the so-called "L/DPR" were being systematically tortured, and stressed that the German Government strongly condemned that and called for an immediate clarification of the situation.
Russia, Maas said, "must use its influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine" in order to end the conflict as soon as possible.
He also expressed his hope for a personal meeting with Kuleba in the foreseeable future in order to work together to "end the war in Ukraine", which has been making people suffer for too long.
The German Foreign Minister also thanked the Ukrainian side for the fact that many Germans had managed to return home from Ukraine amid border closure thank to the efforts of Ukrainian airlines.