Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel handed over his duties to his successor Heiko Maas during a ceremony at the German Foreign Office in Berlin on Wednesday. During his handover speech, Gabriel touched on US foreign policy by saying that «the last decisions regarding foreign policy in the US show that, probably, the first months of the American president might have been the easiest... Еще.» New Foreign Minister Maas vowed to harden the stance vis-a-vis Russia, stating «Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing aggression against Ukraine cannot be tolerated.» «The Ukraine crisis remains a test of our resolve and our unity in the European Union, but also with the American allies,» Maas added. Commenting the Skripal case, Maas expressed worry and pledged to collaborate with the United Kingdom to bring the responsible to justice. «Moscow should be transparent and also take a stand on either discussing bilaterally with the UK or with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),» Maas continued. Maas, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), served as Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection from 2013 to 2018.