"If we are lucky, if we succeed in calming down the military situation, if we manage to bring about a political process, I don't exaggerate when I say (it) could take years or decades, or even longer, for a political solution to come about," claimed Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a public event in Brussels, held by Carnegie Europe.
Commenting on the issue of EU relations with Russia, Germany's Minister for Foreign Affairs emphasized that everything depends on whether the sides will be able to restore the trust that has been shattered.
Steinmeier also commented on conflicting reports regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine. It is worth mentioning that according to recent statements made by the NATO military commander General Philip Breedlove, the situation in eastern Ukraine is steadily getting worse. At the same time, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed that the ceasefire is holding.
He pointed to the fact that although the European observers registered a certain decrease in the number of violent acts in eastern Ukraine after the Minsk agreement was signed, Breedlove presented figures indicating that violence sharply increased.
"We asked twice NATO, the reason being that our personnel on the ground, [the] OSCE, have provided us with rather different figures than the figures we have received from NATO, and this raised the issue how those diverging figures came about," Steinmeier elaborated.