"It's very difficult to find a way out after so many years," Gabriel told an event hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations, as reported by Reuters.

"Of course we are trying, but it does not look like we will have a (short-term resolution) of the difficulties in the region."

Read alsoGermany criticizes U.S. for unilateral Russia sanctions — mediaGabriel said he backed continued efforts by the so-called "Normandy format" group – involving Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia – to resolve the crisis, but observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were not optimistic, given the situation in the region.

"I have no good messages on this issue," he said.