German minister urges Ukraine parties to seek national unity

by Reuters
Saturday, 22 February 2014 18:33 GMT

BERLIN, Feb 22 (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday urged all parties in Ukraine to act in the interests of national unity.

"I urge those with responsibility to halt the political escalation and to keep a sense of proportion. Maintaining channels of communication and being willing to compromise given the situation and regional differences are more vital then ever," he said in a statement.

"The basis of all political decisions must be the upholding of Ukraine's territorial integrity and national unity ... Ukraine needs a functioning interim government which can restore order throughout the land as quickly as possible," he added.

Steinmeier said a political deal signed by the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday, brokered by himself and the Polish and French foreign ministers, offered a sensible road map which had been accepted by both sides.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Andrew Roche)