Germany’s foreign ministry spoke on the question of Ukraine’s joining NATO Sunday, stating that the idea could not be on the agenda and that Ukraine was not on the way towards NATO, as far as he was concerned. The minister expressed concern over “adding fuel to the fire” over a continuingly dangerous conflict.

“I am all for transparency in the matter, as, I believe, it would not be helpful if we were to not speak about it,” said Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with ZDF television channel.

Steinmeier said that it would be necessary to inform the public of the questions that it would be better not to ask for fear of “adding fuel to the fire.”

It was necessary to “remain realists,” said the minister. “We are in the centre of a dangerous conflict.”

Steinmeier said that the situation in Ukraine left much to be desired, but further escalation was still possible and he remained concern about the possible repercussions of Ukraine joining NATO.

“For me, Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance cannot be on the agenda. Anyway, I cannot see Ukraine on the way towards NATO,” he said.

The minister characterized the dispute with Russia as “major.”

““I keep saying, it may take just 14 days to provoke a conflict, but it could take 14 years to settle it.”

By James Frank Haleavy