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French, German foreign ministers urge Ukraine to push forward reforms

The French and German foreign ministers, who head to Kiev for talks today, have urged Ukraine to push forward with reforms in the spirit of the movement that ousted Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych two years ago.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, in today’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung paper, praised the progress already made by the Ukrainian government, but called for more, notably in the fight against corruption.

The reforms are so important that “all political and economic forces in the country aware of their responsibilities” should take part, the pair wrote ahead of their two-day trip, beginning today.

While in Ukraine the two European diplomatic heavyweights will attempt to consolidate a fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine while taking a reading on the state of the equally fragile pro-Western government.

The two foreign ministers stressed the need to “remain faithful to the spirit of Maidan,” a reference to the bloody revolution that ousted Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

Ukraine’s attempts at reform have been hampered by the conflict in the east where, despite the truce agreed last September, clashes continue to erupt sporadically between government troops and separatists, the foreign ministers noted, insisting on the need to enact the peace agreement signed in Minsk a year ago.

The Minsk deal is a package of measures agreed by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia in the Belarusian capital last February.

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