At the meeting in Berlin, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel are planning to discuss the fulfillment of the Minsk process.
Before negotiations, the Head of State noted: “We express our firm hope that we will manage to ensure progress, ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry and liberation of hostages. We believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements. As President of Ukraine, I stand for peaceful settlement of the situation”.
The President has emphasized the role of Germany and personally Mrs. Chancellor in the elaboration and signing the Minsk agreements. According to Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine is an absolute supporter of strict fulfillment of all the items of the Minsk agreements. “We demonstrate real progress in securing the ceasefire, withdrawal of troops and launching the sessions of the working subgroups held last week in Minsk,” the President noted.
However, the President stated the absence of complete ceasefire. “Ukraine loses its best sons each day and cannot wait for the release of hostages from captivity. Today, more than 400 hostages are kept in inhuman conditions, in captivity of militants,” Petro Poroshenko said. According to him, more than 30 Ukrainians are still in the prisons of Russia.
The President has highlighted the need for liberation of all hostages, including Nadiya Savchenko, Hero of Ukraine, Ukrainian MP, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Ukraine also insists on absolute fulfillment of the item on withdrawal of heavy weaponry, demilitarization of Shyrokyne, Donetsk airport and deployment of permanent OSCE posts in 10 most hot points along the collision line.
The President endorses the statement of the OSCE made by Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, in which he clearly stated that all political processes, all economic processes, all processes that need to be addressed, including humanitarian plane, should be started only after we ensure firm ceasefire, guarantee withdrawal of heavy machinery and artillery and achieve the release of hostages.
The President has also emphasized the necessity of providing an opportunity for the OSCE inspectors to check all withdrawn weaponry’s storage places and establishing control over the uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border.
In her turn, Angela Merkel has noted that the Minsk process had not succeeded yet. She has particularly mentioned tense situation in Shyrokyne and Donetsk airport. According to her, the Minsk agreements are a platform, at which Germany and France are willing to further support Ukraine on its way towards peace. The Chancellor has particularly noted the slow pace in the liberation of hostages.
Petro Poroshenko has thanked Angela Merkel for the constant and firm support provided by Germany to Ukraine in these difficult times. “Today, more than ever, Ukraine needs a hand of support of German people in the issue of economy, the issue of humanitarian aid, where the German Government actively helps us accommodate IDPs, the restoration of infrastructure in Donbas and the issue of overcoming the economic crisis caused by war,” the President noted.
According to the Head of State, Ukraine considers Germany not only a reliable partner in bilateral relations, but also a leader of the European Union, which demonstrates unique unity and solidarity with Ukraine today. “A great merit in this unity and solidarity belongs to the German Chancellor. Thank you for that,” the President said.
The President has also noted that Germany had played a crucial role in the support of European aspirations of Ukraine through the ratification of the Association Agreement as well. “The pace with which the European countries ratify the Association Agreement demonstrates unconditional support that Ukraine enjoys in the EU today,” the President emphasized and added that more than 18 countries had already ratified the Agreement.