German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosted French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish President Andrzej Duda in Berlin, on the heels of talks with US, Russian and Ukrainian leaders, writes DW.
The three were meeting over fears about Russia amassing military hardware and more than 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine.
"The leaders call on Russia to de-escalate the situation at the Ukrainian border and engage in a meaningful dialogue on security on the European continent. They underscore that any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs”, - the German government said in a statement.
Scholz said the NATO allies were in agreement on the situation at present and what the consequences should be if Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty were violated.
"Our common goal is to avoid a war in Europe. The deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine is very worrying and our assessment of the situation here is very much the same. Just as our attitude is that further violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is unacceptable and would have far-reaching consequences, politically, economically and certainly also geo-strategically”, - said the chancellor, flanked by Duda and Macron.
Polish President Duda said the three countries would not give up in their efforts to de-escalate tensions between Moscow and Kyiv.
“We have to find a solution to avoid war. As I’ve said, this is currently our main task. I believe that we will achieve it. In my opinion what"s most important today is unity and solidarity”, - said Duda.
French President Macron called for security talks with Moscow in order to stress the inviolability of Europe’s borders: “We must together find ways and means to engage in a demanding dialogue with Russia”.
Macron is seeking to revive the “Normandy Format” peace talks - aimed at bringing to an end fighting in eastern Ukraine, in which more than 14,000 people have died.
Leaders from the “Normandy Format” last met in Paris in 2019. However, envoys from the four countries involved - France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine - are to meet on Thursday in Berlin.