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Michael Roth in Ukraine: lively discussions with civil Society

Minister of State Michael Roth at the Pride Parade in Kyiv

Minister of State Michael Roth at the Pride Parade in Kyiv, © AA

19.06.2018 - Article

Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth visited Kyiv from 16 to 18 June. It was his first visit to the Ukrainian capital and his visit was dominated by numerous meetings with civil society and political talks.

As well as participating in the Pride Parade and meetings with Roma representatives and Crimean Tatars, Roth had talks with parliamentarians and Government representatives. He also had the opportunity to get to know young members of the SD Platform at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

In the Pride Parade in Kyiv’s city centre, several thousand demonstrators issued a clear and cheerful message for more respect, openness and diversity towards sexual minorities. Minister of State Roth also took part. The demonstration was overshadowed by in part major attempts to disrupt proceedings and by arrests.

After the Parade, Roth said:

Many Ukrainians have shown today how important it is to them to have a diverse, open and inclusive society. My thanks go out to the courageous organisation team and to the consistent and circumspect police work which ensured that this voice could be heard far and wide.
Meeting with some Crimean Tatars
Meeting with some Crimean Tatars© AA

Work to protect minorities

Minister of State Roth heard from Crimean Tatars how very difficult life is for the some 300,000 members of this ethnic group on the illegally annexed peninsula.

Chairman of the Mejlis Refat Chubarov issued a clear call to the international community not to forget his People.

Group photo with people from the Roma minority
Group photo with people from the Roma minority© AA

In a meeting with representatives of the Roma ethnic group, Roth talked about their situation. As Europe’s largest ethnic minority, they voiced their major concern about several attacks in recent months.

“The attacks leave me dumbfounded. The state based on the rule of law must investigate these dreadful crimes resolutely. Roma do not belong on the fringes, they belong at the heart of our societies, able to participate in education and experience social inclusion,” as the Minister of State demanded.

Minister of State Michel Roth with Vice Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze
Minister of State Michel Roth with Vice Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze© AA

Meeting with the Vice Prime Minister

Ukraine drawing closer to the European Union, most recent developments in the Minsk process, the very good bilateral relations and energy policy issues were just some of the points that Minister of State Roth discussed inter alia with Vice Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush‑Tsintsadze and Hanna Hopko, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The fact that especially young people are keen to help shape their country’s political development was shown by the meeting with members of the SD Platform, a young Social Democratic NGO for whom issues such as social justice, fighting corruption, equal rights for men and women in all spheres of life and the strengthening of European values are high on the agenda.

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