Germany urged Russia on Tuesday to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border and engage in diplomacy for a peaceful solution.
“We believe that it’s clearly Russia’s responsibility to de-escalate the situation,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement, ahead of her visit to NATO ally Spain.
“The government in Moscow should withdraw its troops and provide full transparency about its actions,” she stressed, adding that this is Russia’s obligation as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Baerbock expressed concern over the recent escalation, and reiterated that Germany will continue its diplomatic efforts, together with its EU partners and NATO allies, for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to visit Moscow on Tuesday, in a last-ditch effort to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease military buildup along Ukraine borders and pursue a diplomatic solution.
Tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and the West escalated after the US issued a stark warning on Sunday, saying the latest intelligence reports show that Russia could launch a military attack against Ukraine "any day now."
Ukraine has been plagued by conflict in its eastern regions since March 2014 following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.
Moscow recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.