The capital of Ukraine was visited by the foreign Ministers of Germany and France Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jean-Marc Ayrault. Distinguished guests held talks with President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Chairman of Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Groisman, the heads of the factions of the parliamentary coalition and foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin.
On the eve of the visit of Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a joint paper in which, in particular, reads: «the Right and necessary, but difficult and often painful course on modernization of Ukraine is a matter of the utmost political importance for the entire country… In this sense, Ukraine has signed with the international community agreement for the future…»
Recognizing that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is drawing in too much political power and financial resources, which do not have to reform, the foreign Ministers stated that «the Minsk agreements are the only way to ensure that Ukraine has restored sovereignty over all its territory and were finally able to live in peace».
During the meeting with the foreign Ministers of Germany and France, President Petro Poroshenko, commenting on the situation in the Donbass, reported numerous violations of silence regime by Russia-controlled fighters, as well as about the use of prohibited weapons. The parties also discussed the possibility of sending in the Donbass forces international security as one of the important factors in the preparation for the holding of local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. At the same time, Petro Poroshenko stressed the need to maintain sanctions against the Russian Federation for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
In turn, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed hope that progress would be made in the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass. As for the political situation in Ukraine, then, according to him, stability is what is needed to continue reforms. «I hope that after the Ukrainian Parliament adopts the decision on the government’s report, the next period in Ukraine is guaranteed to be stable. This is what is necessary to continue the reforms», — said the diplomat.
And the foreign Minister of France Jean-Marc Ayrault in a press conference in the foreign Ministry of Ukraine noted that to carry out the necessary reforms to our state need effective government and Parliament. «Over the past 14 months, the current Ukrainian government has undertaken many reforms, but still a lot of work along the way. And this requires a government that can go forward and effective Parliament, which conducts discussions and adopts the necessary legislation for these reforms aimed at the prosperity of Ukraine», — said the Minister. According to Jean-Marc Ayrault, «the worst scenario for Ukraine is to stay in the middle of the Ford, in the situation we are witnessing today». That is, when the half-implemented reform plans, which do not have prospects in the Donbass.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that subject to the implementation of the Minsk agreements «as they are written in black and white» in the Donbass have a future. «We are true «Minsk» and not Russian efforts to integrate Ukraine into the Donbass, which will be under the influence of kairoseki and which will be integrated to destabilize the whole Ukraine, — said the head of domestic foreign Ministry, adding: — «Minsk» — it is the way for the return of Donbass in the Ukrainian legal field. For this we need to achieve real security. And it can be reached only if in the Donbass will not be Russian regular troops and mercenaries and there will not be weapons from Russia… Only then the residents of Donbass will be able during the election to speak out and to trust his fate to the representatives of the Donbass, and not those who are now with the help of Russia there rules». This writes Igor Holovaty in the article «foreign Minister of Germany and France: «We count on the strong commitment of the main political forces of Ukraine to continue the course of reforms» in the newspaper «Facts and comments».
Joint press conference of the foreign Ministers of Germany, France and Ukraine Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Pavel Klimkin in Kiev showed the divergence of parties in the understanding of how to execute the Minsk agreements. Ukrainian Minister quite reasonably talked about the need to ensure real security, which is possible, «if we in the Donbass will not be Russian regular troops, an infinite number of mercenaries, if the Donbass will cease to get weapons, ammunition and all that Russia is trying all these months to put on Donbass». And only then can you talk about elections, said the Minister, otherwise it can be regarded as Russia’s desire to integrate Ukraine into the Donbas to destabilize the situation.
Meanwhile, Steinmeier, and Eero stressed that Ukraine should fully implement the Minsk agreements, which are the only possibility of resolving the conflict in the Donbass. Moreover, the German Minister noted that the Ministerial meeting in Normandy format on 3 March in Paris against Ukraine is waiting for a plan for modality (logic and shape) of elections in the Donbass. Which, added Steinmeier, the next step is the election law in the region.
However, journalists have not heard from both Ministers on how they plan to encourage Russia to fulfil its part of the «Minsk-2». Hardly anyone in Ukraine could satisfy such a response Steinmeier: «We can’t accept that violated the truce in the Donbass… I think that during our meeting in Paris we will reach certain necessary compromises and agree on a common position and be able to overcome all the ditches that still divide us».
Meanwhile, Jean-Marc Ayrault in his speech a lot of time was devoted to what Ukraine needs to have a government that must meet the expectations of the Maidan, will implement the reforms envisaged, including «Minsk — 2» and is necessary for Ukraine to solve problems, not to stay «in the middle of the Ford» that is halfway.
The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on foreign Affairs Anna hopko believes that before talking about the modalities for the elections, «should be resolved security issues: ceasefire, withdrawal of troops, access and security of the OSCE mission, and not just the special monitoring, the exchange of our political prisoners, and pushed, forced to script recognition «LNR», «DNR». This writes Nikolai Ciroc in the article «Coercion to the elections in the Donbas» in the newspaper «Day».
Ukraine and its people are experiencing unprecedented systemic change. Ukraine has managed to survive and grow, despite two winters incredible internal pressure and the external aggression of Russia. At first no one could imagine the scale and depth of the economic problems and security issues faced by the Ukrainian leadership.
In this difficult period, laid the foundations for important reforms and the rule of law. But actually Ukraine needs not only reforms, but in the new approach, a fresh understanding of how to achieve systemic democratic change. This is what the Ukrainian citizens, who were ahead of government in terms of fighting corruption and establishment of fair competition in business.
If Ukraine wants to succeed in this transformation, there must be a new understanding of the rights and duties of elites and citizens. Still the cycle of division between «us and them», between those in power and those who are deprived of their rights and who do not listen. The motto of the new society should be the words: «we are All United for Ukraine».
Ukrainian state and society are still subjected to structural reforms in almost every sector of daily life. But maximum efforts must be made to force those in power to be accountable and responsible to their citizens. Justice should apply to all those who have abused power, without exception.
Today Ukraine looks like a big construction site, where already laid the Foundation for European values, but the construction of new democratic institutions is not yet complete. Ukrainians should preserve this unparalleled faith in themselves to unite Ukraine, to make it free and prosperous. At the same time everyone should remember that a crisis is a time when emerging new elite, and right now you need to demonstrate leadership, writes Ian Tombinsky in the article «What I wish the Ukrainians» in the edition «New time».
February 24. Press review. What came to Kyiv Steinmeier and Eero 24.02.2016