Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrives in Kiev today for talks regarding the Ukraine crisis and bilateral ties.
Following straining relations between Moscow and Berlin, today’s talks will focus on the implications of tensions between Russia and Germany on Ukraine.
Primary issues include strengthening bilateral cooperation, countering energy threats, supporting Ukraine against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive actions, activating the peaceful settlement of the conflict, and resuming the Normandy format. Tomorrow, Baerbock will arrive in Moscow for discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Russian and German ministers will meet in person for the first time to discuss Russian recommendations on security matters, including the necessity that NATO not expand and accept Ukraine as a member.
Expect Russian demands for legally binding security guarantees from the US and NATO to be a principal topic. Russia considers NATO’s expansion a security risk and has threatened military action if proposals are rejected. If Russia minimizes its military actions, they may avoid further sanctions and allow the new German government to certify Nordstream 2, potentially allowing for gas to start flowing to Europe.
The foreign ministers are also expected to discuss economic and cultural cooperation, as well as efforts to reconcile the countries’ wartime past and strategies to combat climate change.
Laura is a research analyst on the Current Developments team. Presently undertaking a Juris Doctor, her areas of expertise include human rights and international law. Laura contributes to the daily brief, typically on matters within Europe and the Asia-Pacific.