Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called the Ukraine policy of the European Union (EU) "a mistake" while attending an event hosted by German media on Sunday, reports said.
Schroder said the EU has put Ukraine, a culturally divided country, in an "either/or" situation by urging on an association agreement with it.
According to the ex-chancellor, a "both/and" alternative would be more reasonable because Ukraine needs partnership with both sides.
He voiced support for his successor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in efforts to further seek talks with Russia, noting sanctions would hurt Germany more than other countries.
Schroder, who is said to have a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he hasn't discussed with the president about the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia said Saturday it was willing to continue dialogue with the current Ukrainian authorities, while western countries were abuzz over forming alliance against Russia and threatening to resort to sanctions.