Ambassador Pierre Morel, the chairman of the Trilateral Contact Group’s working group on political affairs, travelled to Berlin on Wednesday (29 July). At his meeting with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the conversation focused on the progress being made by the group in its work and on the political process. The working group, which includes representatives of the parties to the conflict, had just met the day before (28 July).
Four working groups on security, economic affairs, humanitarian affairs and political affairs were established under the aegis of the Trilateral Contact Group as part of a package of measures adopted on 12 February 2015 to implement the Minsk agreements. In April 2015, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office appointed French diplomat Pierre Morel as chairman of the working group on political affairs. This group, which brings together Ukrainian, Russian and OSCE representatives for regular meetings, focuses on advancing the political process, the modalities for the forthcoming local elections and expanding local self-government, also for eastern Ukraine.
During their talks on Wednesday, Ambassador Morel briefed Steinmeier on the most recent working group meeting on Tuesday (28 July). The two men also discussed the present situation in eastern Ukraine. Germany remains committed to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and is pushing for progress to be made in the political process.
In this context, Foreign Minister Steinmeier had on 16 July welcomed the fact that the Verkhovna Rada had, at a first reading, voted by a large majority in favour of constitutional amendments paving the way for special arrangements for local self-government in eastern Ukraine. Steinmeier considered this to be an important precondition for local elections to be held on the basis of Ukrainian legislation in the Donbas too. He also expressed the hope that the constitutional reforms would “now be adopted quickly”.