Germany’s foreign minister visits front line in Ukraine

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a visit to the front line of the conflict in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

The German foreign minister was getting a firsthand account of the humanitarian and military situation in the Donbas region. The Ukrainian government has been embroiled in an armed conflict with pro-Russia separatists since 2014. 

Baerbock, dressed in a protective helmet and vest, spoke with a Ukrainian general about the situation in the region. 

According to UN estimates, over 14,000 people have died in the conflict so far. 

Germany’s top diplomat is also expected to meet with representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on Tuesday. The OSCE said in December that a cease-fire had been reached in the region, but there have been numerous violations in recent weeks.

Baerbock promises strong support for Ukraine

Baerbock first landed in Ukraine on Monday, where she met Ukrainian officials in Kyiv. During her visit in the capital, she vowed solidarity with Ukraine, despite Berlin’s refusal to send weapons to the country. 

While meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, she said Germany is willing to “pay a high economic price” if sanctions are required to be implemented against Russia. 

Macron to meet Zelenskyy in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron is also taking a trip to Ukraine on Tuesday, after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin a day prior. Macron will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv in a diplomatic push to de-escalate tensions. 

An anonymous French official told Reuters news agency on Tuesday that Putin has promised to not conduct any new military maneuvers for the time being near Ukraine.

wd/rt (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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