In the midst of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is traveling to Kiev and Moscow this Monday and Tuesday for inaugural visits.
Berlin – Baerbock will meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on January 17, a spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office announced on Friday in Berlin. In the evening she will continue to Moscow. Talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled there on Tuesday. According to the spokesman, one theme of the trip will be the effort to make progress in the so-called Normandy format. These negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, mediated by Germany and France, have long been on hold. Most recently, there was a meeting at executive level in Paris in 2019.
Deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said that after talks between Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) foreign policy adviser, Jens Plötner, and his French colleague in Ukraine and Russia, there was cautious optimism that it would be successful, initially at the diplomatic adviser level return to the Normandy format.
The talks with Lavrov will also deal with the question of how security can be organized in Europe “so that states do not feel threatened by each other,” said the spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office. However, the Baerbock talks are not the continuation of those consultations that have been held in other formats this week, he said against the background of the largely fruitless negotiations between the USA and Russia, in the NATO-Russia Council and within the framework of the organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
According to the spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office, Baerbock’s trip to Ukraine will take place on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Baerbock will also meet German representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in Kiev. In addition, a discussion on the Ukrainian hydrogen strategy is planned.
In Moscow, the minister also wants to visit the “Diversity United” exhibition in the Tretyakov Gallery, which is sponsored by the federal government, the spokesman said. The exhibition was opened last November as part of the Year of Germany in Russia. The exhibition, which is now being shown in Moscow after its premiere in Berlin, is also dedicated to controversial issues in Russia, such as gender identity and the pursuit of freedom. (dpa)
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