New German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in his inaugural speech has criticized Russia for putting pressure on Ukraine in the issue of an association agreement with the EU, the Ukrainian service of the BBC has reported.
"It is utterly scandalous how Russia used Ukraine's economic problems for its own ends, as well as to prevent the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU... Of course, violent actions of the Ukrainian security forces against peaceful demonstrators were also scandalous," he said. The minister said that on Thursday he would visit Poland, where he would discuss the situation in Ukraine. Steinmeier returned to the German government on Tuesday for the post that he held in the first "grand coalition" led by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2005-2009. As reported, Leader of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel was appointed chancellor of Germany on Tuesday for the third time in a row.