"I am not deceiving myself, resumption [of talks] will be difficult. The interests and points of view of Ukraine and Russia in many areas are far from each other. [But] the mere fact that we are going to a meeting of foreign ministers after 16 months is a success," Maas told the Bild newspaper.
The conflict in Donbass sparked in 2014, when the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR and LPR) that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup.
In 2015, the conflicting parties signed a peace deal following talks brokered by the Normandy Four.
Next Normandy Four meeting at the level of foreign ministers is scheduled on Monday in Berlin.