Since the election of the new Government in Kyiv, there have been grounds for cautious optimism as regards resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko attended the Foreign Affairs Council today (14 October) for talks with the EU28 on progress and obstacles on the path to lasting peace. Foreign Minister Maas sees movement as regards the implementation of the Minsk agreement.
Speaking in Luxembourg, he said:
The negotiations must finally be followed by concrete steps. The ceasefire and the additional disengagement of forces must be carried out.
Germany is calling for a Normandy format meeting, that is, for talks between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. The new Ukrainian President has launched important reforms. Germany supports the Ukrainian Government’s efforts to strengthen the judicial system and the rule of law.
The Foreign Affairs Council also addressed the situation in Syria in depth. Further information is available here.
Talks on Thailand and the Eastern Partnership
At their meeting in Luxembourg, the EU Foreign Ministers also discussed the situation in Thailand, which has taken important steps towards restoring the democratic processes. In response, Heiko Maas and his EU counterparts paved the way for closer cooperation with the country. In concrete terms, the next steps will be the resumption of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement and the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
At a meeting with his Swedish, Polish, Czech and Croatian counterparts, Foreign Minister Maas explored progress in the Eastern Partnership, which is an important instrument for reaching even greater consensus on key EU issues. Foreign Minister Maas firmly believes that a clear focus on the rule of law and good governance is an important step in this.