Swiss OSCE Chair discusses crisis in Ukraine with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier
BERN, 4 March 2014 – Swiss Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter today discussed the Ukrainian crisis with German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier. They emphasized the capacity of the OSCE in helping to overcome the crisis.
“We discussed the creation of a contact group which could support de-escalation”, Burkhalter said. “Time is of the essence now to launch a dialogue format in order to re-build confidence and resolve the crisis by peaceful means”, he continued. Burkhalter added that they also discussed other ideas such as the possibility to monitor the situation in Ukraine, which could help to re-establish trust in the long term by focusing on minorities and human rights.
The Swiss Chair exchanged views regarding different possibilities for the OSCE to help find a way out of the Ukrainian crisis with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the margins of yesterday's opening of the 25th Human Rights Council Session.
At the Special Permanent Council on Ukraine held yesterday at the headquarters of the OSCE in Vienna, strong support was shown for ideas put forward by the Swiss Chairmanship, which pledged to pursue its work as suggested.