09:50 GMT +323 February 2019
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    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends the cabinet meeting in Berlin

    Europe Needs Dialogue With Russia to Solve World Conflicts – Steinmeier

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    Europe needs Russia's help in solving crises around the world, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview to the local Neue Westfaelische newspaper, published Wednesday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German top diplomat said that foreign policy was not about placing countries into "black-and-white" categories.

    "Whatever you call it, we need Russia to solve numerous crises and conflicts across the world," the minister said, adding that a constant dialogue is needed even if the parties' stances are different.

    Berlin has maintained its dialogue with Moscow despite disagreements over Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014 and the EU sanctions against Russia, according to Steinmeier. He added that talks had prevented the conflict in eastern Ukraine from escalating into an armed standoff between between Kiev and Moscow.

    Steinmeier said that the lifting of sanctions on Russia will not immediately restore the country's economy, but Berlin is willing to scrap economic curbs on Moscow once the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.

    The recently-agreed ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been holding for two months, Steinmeier pointed out.

    The Minsk agreements, a set of measures hammered out by leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, are aimed to facilitate the process of the Ukrainian reconciliation. The deal was signed by Kiev and eastern Ukrainian militia in February 2015.


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