Continuing to pursue reform policy
Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the intention of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the country’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lay out their commitment to pursuing reform policies in a coalition agreement. This was announced on Friday by deputy government spokesperson Georg Streiter. The German government will support the new Ukrainian government "in the tasks that lie ahead to the very best of its ability," said Georg Streiter.
At the Federal Press Conference on 27 October, federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert welcomed the fact that the nationwide parliamentary elections in Ukraine "were largely peaceful, free and uncompromised". Steffen Seibert also stressed that the Ukrainian people have voted "above all for a fresh start, a fresh start in which extremists and populists are not part of the government".
Gas dispute ended
As Georg Streiter also reported, after the gas dispute was resolved, the Chancellor held a telephone conference in what has come to be known as the Normandy format. Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised the agreement on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine achieved through the mediation of EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.
Ending conflict – implementing the Minsk Protocol
The four also discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine. "All four called for an immediate ceasefire and agreed that the conflict must be ended without any violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity," underscored the deputy government spokesperson.
There was also agreement that "the Minsk Protocol signed by Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists must be taken as the basis on which to resolve open questions". The importance of the OSCE Contact Group was underlined by all four parties, said Georg Streiter.
Separatists’ "elections" unlawful
The deputy spokesperson announced that opinions diverged on the so-called elections called for 2 November in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. "The Chancellor and the French President insisted that under the provisions of the Minsk Protocol signed on 5 September voting must comply with Ukrainian law."
The elections scheduled for this Sunday violate both the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Protocol and would make it even more difficult to resolve the conflict, said Georg Streiter, and made it quite clear that "the German government will not recognise these unlawful elections".
Georg Streiter reminded his audience that at the last European Council meeting, EU member states agreed that the early elections in the area worst affected by the conflict must be held in line with Ukrainian law. The elections now called by the separatists will not be recognised by the European Union.
The central government of Ukraine plans to hold municipal elections in Donetsk and Luhansk on 7 December 2014. The separatists who currently exercise power there intend to hold elections in the self-proclaimed "republics" on 2 November.