German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock describes her visits to Kiev and Moscow this Monday and Tuesday as "inaugural visits", but at the same time makes it clear that they are primarily about attempts to pacify the current Russian threatening gestures.

Before her departure on Monday, Baerbock renewed the offer that Germany was ready for "a serious dialogue about mutual agreements and steps that will bring more security to everyone in Europe, including Russia".

Johannes Leithauser

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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However, the federal government cannot and will not "make any concessions to the basic principles of the Helsinki Final Act", which have saved Europe from the nightmare of a major war over the past 50 years. These principles include "territorial inviolability, free choice of alliance, and renunciation of the threat of violence as a means of politics".

Baerbock asserted that she wanted to "explore whether there was a willingness to find solutions through diplomatic channels" in Kiev and Moscow. Above all, this includes resuming the talks in the Normandy format, which includes Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, and making progress in implementing the peace agreements reached in Minsk. However, the German Foreign Minister also said: "We are determined to react if Russia instead takes the path of escalation."

Before her departure, Baerbock pointed out that the acute crisis was casting a shadow over many other important areas of the bilateral dialogue.

In Kiev, she also wants to talk about initiatives “for the sustainable modernization of the Ukrainian energy sector, the development of a green hydrogen market or support for cyber defense.

In Moscow she also wants to discuss possibilities for cooperation in the fight against climate change, but also talk about cooperation in culture, science and trade.

Baerbock starts her visit this Monday in Kiev and travels to Moscow in the evening.