We are grateful to Angela Merkel for her leadership in the Ukraine peace process

12:43 06.04.2016

Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko has thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her assistance in negotiations to bring peace in eastern Ukraine.

“We are very grateful to Angela Merkal for taking the lead in the process to achieve peace in the east of Ukraine. We believe that through such assistance the conflict in Donbas will be resolved,” Yulia Tymoshenko told a delegation from the Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU Party.

The parties discussed the situation in Ukraine, particularly reforms and the conflict in Donbas.

The Batkivshchyna leader stressed that security issues must be addressed first in Donbas, and only then political issues, including elections and changes to the Ukrainian constitution giving the region special status. “This position is shared by all the democratic parties in Ukraine. We need real peace, not an imitation. Only Russian tanks can vote right now in Donbas,” Yulia Tymoshenko said.

She also stressed that the economic situation in Ukraine is very bad and that unprecedented corruption is the main challenge. “Two years after the Revolution of Dignity people are living tragically worse. The situation is made more complicated by the level of corruption in the upper echelons of government, which the whole world knows about,” Yulia Tymoshenko said, stressing that the status quo can not continue in Ukraine.

“We need to hold early parliamentary elections to allow the Ukrainian people to make their choice, and then we can implement genuine reforms, genuine decentralization that will touch every region of Ukraine and won’t be rejected by society and parliament,” she added.

In his turn, CSU/CDU foreign policy spokesman MP Jurgen Hardt emphasized that Germany supports Ukraine in establishing peace and economic growth.

“This is my first foreign trip in my new post. We decided it should be Ukraine because the country faces two major challenges – ending the conflict in the East and economic transformation. The EU and Germany support Ukraine on this path,” he said

Jurgen Hardt said there is “stagnation in reforms in Ukraine.” “We believe that the successful economic development of your country could serve as an example for countries of the post-Soviet space, particularly Russia,” said the German MP.

They also discussed the rights of internationally displaced persons in Ukraine, which now number nearly two million.

Hryhoriy Nemyria, the deputy head of Batkivshchyna and chairman of the Verkhovna Rada human rights committee, said their committee will hold a meeting in Kramatorsk (Donetsk oblast) on April 7-8 to discuss the rights of IDPs and citizens of Ukraine living in the ATO zone in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and to analyze the application of current law on IDPs.

Also at the meeting were former Germany Defense Minister Folker Rue, MP Hans-Joachim Falenski, foreign policy advisor of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, and Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ukraine Gabriele Baumann.