Germany does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and considers it a dangerous violation of the international order established after WWII, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, Saturday, August 23.
“This happened in violation of territorial integrity in Europe,” she said. “And if we accept this principle, then this can happen to us throughout all of Europe. Then it will affect not only Ukraine and Crimea. In every European country claims can be made to certain other territories and regions, which will disrupt peaceful coexistence in Europe and the very important recognition of territorial integrity established after the Second World War, since Europe has been living according to these principles up to the present time,” she said.
Responding to questions about Russian-occupied Crimea, Merkel said Ukraine must be patient. “Often much patience and effort are required for the resolution of political issues,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine must take necessary steps to keep the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts from suffering Crimea’s fate, she said.
Merkel also provided some clarification on Germany’s position on the issue of “federalization” for Ukraine.
“Germany supports decentralization, but there are certain difficulties. If we speak about German federalization, then in Ukraine it is understood differently. This could damage the integrity of Ukraine. What we call federalization is called decentralization in Ukraine, and this is what the president of Ukraine seeks.” she said.
According to Merkel, Ukraine must take steps to ensure that the Russian-language population of the country feels greater involvement in Ukrainian affairs and remains on the side of Ukraine.
“I think this process must continue and a broad dialogue must be established. This will be a signal for the general population in order to implement the plans of the Ukrainian government and president,” she said.[hr]
Prepared and translated by Anna Mostovych