Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany
National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met today with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany. Germany is playing an increasing and valuable role in global affairs, and this is a development that the United States, as a long-time friend an ally, warmly welcomes. Ambassador Rice expressed appreciation for Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s efforts to address the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ambassador Rice and Foreign Minister Steinmeier agreed on the need for all parties to fully implement the Minsk agreements, including ceasing all military action, cooperating with the OSCE so that its monitors can verify a full pull back of heavy weapons, and releasing all prisoners. They stressed that there will be significant increased costs for Russia if additional violations of the Minsk agreements occur or if Russian-backed separatists seek to gain new territory. They also agreed on the need to support Ukraine as it takes steps needed to stabilize its economy and lay the groundwork for future growth. As fellow members of the P5+1, Ambassador Rice and Foreign Minister Steinmeier also discussed Iran and our shared efforts to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.