Continuing to move closer to the European Union and more intense cooperation with NATO remain an objective of Ukrainian foreign policy. President Poroshenko and many other high-ranking Ukrainian attendees reaffirmed this at this year’s Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference.
For the fourth time since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in violation of international law, the conference did not take place at its original location, the traditional Ukrainian Black Sea spa resort of Yalta, but in the capital Kyiv. President Poroshenko emphasised on Friday (15 September) that, alongside the path towards Europe and resolving the conflict with Russia in the east of the country, it was a priority to continue down the path of reform that Ukraine had embarked upon following the Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity in 2014.
Germany is among the country’s biggest supporters
Germany, which was represented at the YES conference by such officials as Federal Foreign Office Director for Eastern Europe Andreas Peschke, is lending its support to Ukraine to put an end to the armed conflict with Russia and to the secession of territories in the east of the country. Moreover, the Federal Republic is among the countries that are giving Ukraine the most support financially, and also by seconding experts to help implement reforms in the country.
“The more successful the reforms, the stronger Ukraine will be in facing internal and external challenges”, said Andreas Peschke at the conference. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel continued to be fully committed to finding a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict, for example in the negotiations in what is known as the Normandy format between Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, he stated. The ongoing discussion surrounding a possible UN mission to support peace efforts to date should be conducted openly and constructively, he added.
Year of the German and Ukrainian Languages
Another aim is to intensify relations between the societies of our two countries. It was with this in mind that the Year of the German and Ukrainian Languages was opened a few days ago in Kyiv (8 September). The aim is to make the German language in Ukraine even more popular and to raise the profile of the Ukrainian language in Germany. “Those who have a grasp of their neighbour’s language understand each other even better”, said the Director for Eastern Europe.
The Ukrainian motto for the Language Year is “Vivtschai Ukrainsku, vidtschuwaj Ukrainu” – Learn Ukrainian and understand Ukraine! German diplomats are therefore learning Ukrainian at the Federal Foreign Office and at the Embassy in Kyiv. Meanwhile, Andreas Peschke will be attending a Ukrainian theatre première at the renowned Kyiv Academic Youth Theatre following the political talks.