Berlin rejected Kiev’s request for military assistance, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Prystaiko said in an interview with RND. He expressed gratitude to German authorities for the financial support to Ukraine and appealed not to remove sanctions imposed on Russia.
Ukraine requested military assistance from Germany to resolve the long-standing conflict in Donbass. However, Kiev’s request “was rejected,” the German media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) quotes Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Prystaiko on Friday, December 27. “I hope that Berlin will reconsider this restrained position and will nevertheless decide to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities,” the Minister emphasized.
At the same time, Prystaiko thanked German authorities for the financial support and involvement in the situation. According to him, Kiev highly appreciates efforts of Germany and the European Union to resolve the conflict. However, this “is not enough to end the death of people,” the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry complained. “It’s about our survival as a nation,” the Minister added.
In addition, Prystaiko called for continued sanctions against Russia. They are required to keep Moscow at the negotiating table, he said.
The annexation of Crimea and the self-proclaimed “DPR” and “LPR”
In March 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and considers it its territory. Kiev and the vast majority of countries do not recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territory. Shortly thereafter, the United States, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Canada introduced the first package of sanctions against Moscow.
In April-May of the same year, the pseudo-state entities “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Lugansk People’s Republic” were illegally proclaimed in Donbas, with the support of Moscow. Sanctions against Russia were expanded due to Moscow’s support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and the supply of arms to them. Kiev, for its part, began military operations against armed separatists. According to the UN, about 13 thousand people have died in Donbass since 2014.
Prisoner Swap Arrangement
Presidents of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky agreed in early December on a massive prisoner swap. Later, participants in the Tripartite Contact Group on Conflict Resolution in the East of Ukraine announced their agreement to conduct the swap by the end of 2019. The last large-scale prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine took place in September 2019. Each side released 35 detainees.
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