25 Oct 2017 21:15

Problem of Crimea, Donbas "open wound, burden" on German-Russian relations - Steinmeier

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) - The issue of Crimea's accession and the Ukrainian conflict remain a burden on relations between Russia and Germany, which are far from normal, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

"We are united in the opinion that the current state of affairs cannot and should not be satisfactory for us. We are still far for normal relations," Steinmeier told journalists after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There are still unresolved issues, primarily surrounding the accession of Crimea and the conflicts in eastern Ukraine, which "are a burden and continue to be a burden" on the relationship between Russia and Germany, he said.

There is no way Russia and Germany can wipe out the estrangement that has taken place between them, Steinmeier said.

"But our goal must consist in countering the big differences of recent years with greater predictability, the restoration of a certain minimum of confidence in our relationship," Steinmeier said.

Russia and Germany share more than a thousand of years of joint history, and their relationship "remains too important," he said.

"This history is too varied to be seen in black and white," Steinmeier said.