Berlin, May 13 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stood by Germany’s foreign policy in the wake of the Ukraine crisis and stressed the importance of a peaceful settlement of the conflict, Xinhua reported Tuesday.
“The crisis cannot be solved by military means,” Merkel told German newspaper Westfalenpost, noting that Germany had been pursuing a “triad policy” in dealing with the conflict in Ukraine.
“First, we support Ukraine’s free and self-determined choice of its political path. The presidential election on May 25 is an important step,” Xinhua quoted Merkel as saying.
Merkel said Germany attached importance to talks with Russia, despite “completely different opinions in many aspects of the Ukraine crisis”, as well as discussions within the framework of the planned national dialogue in Ukraine mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), aiming to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“All representatives from Ukrainian regions and the society speaking out against the use of force should participate in this national dialogue,” the chancellor added.
Under OSCE’s plan, a “round table” bringing together different parties in the Ukraine crisis is due to begin in Kiev Wednesday.
German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, former ambassador to Britain and the United States, and current head of the annual Munich Security Conference, has been chosen as co-moderator of the dialogue.
As the third point, Merkel spoke about further sanctions against Russia. “We are ready to impose further sanctions if Russia refuses to help achieve a necessary stabilisation of the situation in Ukraine,” she said.
The chancellor also said Europe should become less dependent on Russian gas supplies, adding Poland’s proposal of establishing a Europe-wide energy union is heading in the right direction.