Foreign Minister Maas in Kyiv: Together for reforms and the Minsk agreements

Foreign Minister Maas travelling to Kyiv

Foreign Minister Maas travelling to Kyiv, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net

30.05.2019 - Article

With the focus on domestic reforms and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French colleague Jean Yves Le Drian are meeting President Zelensky today. 

Fighting corruption, advancing judicial reform

Germany stands by Ukraine as it seeks to resolve the conflict in the east of the country and implement key reforms. Just a few weeks after Volodymyr Zelensky’s election victory, Foreign Minister Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian are to meet Ukraine’s new President in Kyiv.

These are turbulent times. With the election of the new President, people in Ukraine have great hopes that the political situation will stabilise. Zelensky has declared his determination to fight corruption and now the right reforms have to be implemented. Rigorous measures also have to be taken in the field of judicial reform in order to bring about improvements.

Eastern Ukraine: New attempt to uphold the Minsk agreements

The situation in eastern Ukraine remains a key issue. Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in contravention of international law and the conflict in the east of the country have brought the question of war and peace back to Europe. Resolving the conflict with Russia must be the focus of the political efforts. Despite all the difficulties, the Minsk agreements continue to form the basis for this, with the talks in the Normandy format consisting of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine providing an important forum. In order to bring about a lasting resolution of the conflict, all parties must show the will and commitment to implement the Minsk agreements.  

Improved humanitarian situation

In a first step to improve the situation in the east of the country, President Zelensky announced that he would reach out to people in the region with the aim of improving the humanitarian situation. 

At the same time, it is important that the military situation at the contact line is defused. Every day, shots are fired in violation of the Minsk agreements. The ceasefire is thus not being upheld. There also has to be a de-escalation in the Sea of Azov, in the Kerch Strait, which separates the Russian mainland from the Crimean Peninsula. Ukrainian sailors were detained there in November – Germany is calling for their release. 

Meeting with Foreign Minister Klimkin

Following the talks with President Zelensky, Foreign Minister Maas will meet his Ukrainian opposite number Pavlo Klimkin before returning to Berlin on Thursday evening. 


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