BERLIN, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Ukraine should be brought to a single negotiating table and Ukraine's political stability should be in the interest of Russia, the EU and NATO member states, expert Cathryn Cluvier of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs said in response to comments by the German Foreign Minister on Wednesday.
"I don't see a way to membership in NATO for Ukraine," said Steinmeier on the likelihood of Ukraine joining NATO.
Cluvier believes that "it is far too early to even speculate around this question, nor is the discussion of possible NATO membership for Ukraine a particularly helpful approach at the moment."
The German foreign minister addressed his French and Polish counterparts on Tuesday in Weimar, where he spoke of the importance of establishing healthy diplomatic grounds for negotiations. Though he appeared doubtful as to the timeliness of Ukrainian integration into NATO, he acknowledged the growing need for partner alliances in the European community and suggested the creation of support networks to help promote stability on the continent.
"European politicians - including the German Foreign Minister - have advocated prioritizing diplomacy through the establishment of contact groups on both sides to continue to deescalate the overall situation. The substance of current discussions should focus on the maintenance of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its regional economic and political stability. The latter should be in the interest of Ukraine's direct neighbors, Russia and the European Union and NATO member states," Cluvier commented.
In the weeks following the escalation of political tensions over Ukraine, many European leaders have taken a variety of stances for resolving the crisis. Germany, headed by Angela Merkel, has always been a widely outspoken pro-peace activist. Despite continuous threats of economic and international isolation from the West if tensions over Ukraine continue to escalate, it is still committed to maintaining positive dialogue.
Updated with new lede, edits, attribution for Steinmeier's quote