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Steinmeier Warns Against Arming Ukraine

March 12, 2015 (EIRNS)—Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, didn’t mince his words when speaking today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, where he warned against arming Ukraine and called for continued motion along the "difficult path" of diplomacy in order to resolve the crisis there. "It is obvious to me that this would expand the conflict, and would move the crisis to a new phase and beyond the point of no return," he warned. "What we need is strategic patience. If we insist on resolving the crisis immediately, we may set it back. As often in diplomacy, a crisis can start in days, but it may require decades to end," he said. "We must be aware that Russia raises in some countries of Europe some long historical memories which we have to understand. But Russia will always be our biggest neighbor and German foreign policy can only work in and through Europe." Later in the question-and-answer period, the Swedish berserker economist, Anders Aslund, again asked why we shouldn’t provide Ukraine with weapons. "We haven’t seen the success of military solutions anytime in recent history," Steinmeier noted. "We must take consideration rather to limiting casualties. Just because the way is long, doesn’t mean that some other way will be quicker," he said.

"If you increase the arms to Ukraine, Russia will simply provide the separatists with more weapons, and the balance of forces would remain the same, but at a much higher level. This would lead to a new phase that could get out of control. It could lead to a direct conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and no one, particularly Ukraine, would benefit from that," he warned. "There have been some violations along the way," Steinmeier noted, "but the parties have always come back to the basis of the Minsk agreement. As long as the parties remain within the parameters of that agreement, we should pursue the difficult path of negotiations. There is no alternative to this laborious process," he said.