Guarantee framework for Ukraine
"Both sides must do their bit"
In Kyiv the Chancellor has called for initiatives from both sides to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine. "No one side can achieve peace alone," she declared in a joint statement to the press with President Petro Poroshenko. She pledged half a billion euros in German loan guarantees.
With good will on all sides the situation can be resolved, said Angela Merkel after a private meeting with President Petro Poroshenko. She hoped that talks with Russia would be successful, she said. The plans for peace and for the peaceful co-existence of the two countries are on the table. "Words must now be followed by actions, and I believe that the Ukrainian side has already taken a large number of initiatives."
Ukraine ready to talk
Angela Merkel praised Petro Poroshenko’s plan to meet the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk for talks.
Package of initiatives
Germany will support Ukraine with loan guarantees worth 500 million euros. This sum is to be used to promote reconstruction and put in place a guarantee framework for infrastructure in Ukraine. Private investment in the power grid and power plants, schools and the water supply system are to be facilitated. A sum of 25 million euros is to be earmarked for accommodation for people who are currently unable to live in their homes, while more will go to treat the wounded.
The Contact Group is to meet again, said Angela Merkel in Kyiv. She also praised the work of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is doing an "excellent job". Work on gas supplies and gas contracts will continue, she added.
Territorial integrity and decentralisation
Once again, Angela Merkel said that Germany is counting on a diplomatic solution to the drama unfolding in Ukraine. She also stressed the integrity of Ukraine’s territory, and stated that the aim must be to ensure that this is respected.
Angela Merkel said that decentralisation is one possible way of getting the Russian population of Ukraine more involved. She agreed with the Ukrainian President that, "The Russian language is no problem. The cultural identity is no problem. Decentralisation is an important message. But before this can be discussed with the people in Donetsk and Luhansk, and before any sort of vote on these matters, there must be a peaceful situation. This is what we must work towards, and that is impossible for as long as there is an open border across which weapons are coming from Russia." In view of this, Angela Merkel also called for a new border surveillance regime between the two states.
Meeting with mayors
Following her meeting in Kyiv, Angela Merkel was able to get a first hand impression of the feelings in the country, at a discussion with mayors and a representative of the Crimean Tatars. Her visit also included a meeting with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.