"In the new year , we might have a new opportunity for [achieving] progress in resolving the Ukrainian crisis," Steinmeier said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
In addition, the head of the German Foreign Ministry said that at the moment "further steps are needed to implement the Minsk agreements," which include the establishment of the demarcation line, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry and the provision of access to Donbas for international humanitarian assistance.
Ukrainian reconciliation talks have taken place in the so-called Normandy, Minsk, Geneva and Weimar formats so far. The Minsk format grants participation rights to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR).
The Contact Group, comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine, DPR, LPR and the OSCE met in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5 and 19, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement between the warring sides. They, however, accused each other of violating it multiple times.