Violence has no place at Ukraine national talks: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday called for planned roundtable talks in crisis-hit Ukraine to be as "representative" as possible but warned there was no place for those who use violence.
Merkel told reporters that she and the German government were working to ensure Ukraine’s presidential elections can take place on May 25 and she urged all parties, including Russia, to help.
“We believe that the possibility of roundtables under the guidance of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) offers here a good possibility,” she said of the Ukrainian national talks set for Wednesday.
“The more representative the roundtables are, the better that is,” she added.
“But it’s clear of course too that only those can be welcome who are ready and show credibly that they don’t achieve their goals with violence,” Merkel said.
She was speaking after talks in Berlin with the heads of five international financial organisations on the state of the global economy, as part of a series of regular similar gatherings she has hosted since 2007.
Merkel also termed Sunday’s independence referendum in eastern Ukraine claimed by rebels to have been a resounding victory as “illegal” and said she therefore wasn’t so interested in the result.
“I’m waiting for the elections on May 25,” she said.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Ukraine Tuesday to push the Kiev authorities and pro-Moscow rebels to come together at the negotiating table after the OSCE drew up a roadmap aimed at easing tensions.
Kiev is hosting a roundtable meeting Wednesday involving the government, parliament and regional leaders but notably not any separatist representatives.
For her part, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde voiced hopes at the same press conference that “every party concerned, including Russia,” would participate in supporting Ukraine’s economic stabilisation.
Lagarde had warned in an interview with a German newspaper Monday that the crisis in Ukraine could have “severe” economic consequences for other countries, even though its contagion risk was hard to predict.
As well as Lagarde, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, World Trade Organisation head Roberto Azevedo, International Labour Organisation chief Guy Ryder and Angel Gurria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) took part.
The six leaders, in a joint statement, said that the development of the world economy had improved but was still far from representing robust and lasting growth.