Paris, Berlin urge 'rapid' action by new Ukraine leaders

15th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

France and Germany on Friday called on Ukraine's new government to act quickly to implement the Minsk peace accords and internal reforms, the French presidency said.

"The new dynamic created by the change in government must translate into rapid and concrete results," the Elysee said after French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by telephone.

In the first cabinet overhaul since Ukraine's 2014 pro-EU revolt, its parliament on Thursday appointed Volodymyr Groysman as prime minister in a bid to end months of political gridlock and unlock vital aid to the war-torn state.

"The day after the formation of the new Ukrainian government, France and Germany expressed their full support for President Poroshenko and the new prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman," the Elysee statement said.

The French and German leaders also set out their expectations for the new government, urging Kiev to "accelerate internal reforms (with) modernisation (as well as) the fight against corruption and judicial reform."

Hollande and Merkel stressed the "necessity for rapid progress in the implementation of the Minsk accords" with an emphasis on "security, respect for the ceasefire, the release of prisoners and humanitarian issues."

They urged elections in eastern Ukraine as a first step towards a political resolution to a conflict that has claimed nearly 9,200 lives.

The Minsk accord, signed in February 2015 with French and German mediation and in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calls for a ceasefire along with a range of political, economic and social measures to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

© 2016 AFP

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