"If the separatists seize Mariupol, then we would no longer be in the Minsk process ... Then it would become clear that the Normandy strategy failed," the minister has explained very clearly when the patience [of Steinmeier and Germany] will run out in response to the question of one of the participants of the meeting on the Capitol Hill.
The author of the article reminded that the clashes between the militants and the Ukrainian troops on the outskirts of Mariupol had recurred in the last days. The journalist is sure that Putin has not given up the idea of creating a ground path to Crimea, which the Germans and Americans definitely want to prevent.
At the same time, many conservative senators in Washington rely not on talks with Moscow but on lethal aid to Kyiv. Steinmeier warned against this. Trying to convince the senators that there is still room for negotiations he said: "You cannot use different strategies at the same time." Meanwhile he acknowledged that Moscow is the aggressor that uses "the old recipes of intimidation policy" in its behavior and defies the basis of international order and Western values, which makes the Kremlin extremely untrustworthy.
Earlier, the German diplomat called for "strategic patience" in relations with Russia, because Russia is "a neighbor, not a troublemaker on another continent" for the Europeans