30 May 2019 17:38

Paris, Berlin want to offer support to Zelensky - German FM

KYIV. May 30 (Interfax) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his upcoming visit to Ukraine together with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is intended to demonstrate Berlin and Paris's support for Kyiv after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky having taken office.

"It was important for me to travel to Kyiv together with my French counterpart as soon as President Zelensky took office to explain that Germany and France are not reducing their support for Ukraine but are doing just the opposite," the German Foreign Office website quoted Maas as saying before departing for Ukraine on Thursday.

The Ukrainians are pinning great hopes on the new president, Maas said. "We want to offer our support to President Zelensky in realizing these hopes. This will require further reforms, especially in fighting corruption," he said.

The people living in Donbas need peace, too, Maas said. "The momentum of these elections can help overcome the deadlock and finally put into practice the peace plan of the Minsk Agreements," he said, adding that Germany and France want to do all they can to help settle the conflict.

"We will demand a constructive contribution from Russia, as well," he said.

It was reported earlier that Maas and Le Drian would make a joint visit to Ukraine on Thursday, May 30. Zelensky is expected to meet with the German and French foreign policy chiefs.

France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine are involved in Normandy-format talks on settling the armed conflict in Donbas.