A joint statement by foreign ministers is very rarely a linguistic piece of art. It most definitely lacks clarity - as proven by the foreign ministers' statement on the crisis in Ukraine, writes DW's Dagmar Engel.
The joint statement by the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany is roughly a page long. The gist of this statement: The contact group is supposed to meet no later than Saturday and negotiate a mutual, permanent truce.
The tight schedule makes it easy to control the first part of this demand - it's also likely that preparations for that meeting are already in full swing. If the ministers weren't in control of this deadline, why would they set it in the first place? Especially since they don't spell out consequences for a scenario in which this deadline were to be missed.
But is that also the case for mutual ceasefire negotiations? It's only then - if there is a truce - that joint border controls will be put in place by Ukraine and Russia which is the second concrete demand of the statement.
Nothing comes for free
Listening to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov praising German Chancellor Angela Merkel and thanking Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier multiple times was almost uncomfortable.
If it wasn't just only a tactical move, this could symbolize Russia's willingness to give in.
If the Ukrainian government sees that the Russian government is using its influence on separatists to call for a truce, it might be easier for Ukraine to reverse its massive military mission.
"If" and "might"…it's words like these that can make or break the statement. It draws up a path, with the contact group's meeting as a first step. Is that enough?
Judging from the facial expressions and body language of the chief diplomats after this meeting, no one was too pleased with the outcome. Not a single smile anywhere.But at least they all went to dinner together afterwards.
A private freight train has rammed into a EuroCity passenger line in the southwest German city of Mannheim, leaving dozens injured. There were no fatalities, according to authorities.
The days of Germany only being known for its hearty cuisine are over. Ice cream is whetting the appetites of Germans nationwide - to the tune of $2.7 billion in market value in 2013.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald has refused to speak to a German parliamentary inquiry on the NSA scandal. He said the Bundestag's decision not to interview Edward Snowden is indicative of the committee's "empty symbolism."
Political scientist Herfried Münkler is the first German in a long time to attempt an overarching analysis of World War I. DW talks with him about Germany's special role and the lessons from World War I.