24 August 2015 - 20:47
On behalf of the people of Ukraine, I express sincere gratitude for the warm greetings on the Independence Day and the role France and Germany play under your leadership in the establishment and preservation of peace in the east of my country.
There is no alternative to the Minsk process. We said that in our joint statement at the NATO Summit of September 5, 2014. We said that when signing the Agreement in Minsk on February 12, 2015. We say it today. We are confident that the Minsk process, which is based on the peace plan, is an absolutely universal instrument.
Minsk is an immediate ceasefire. Minsk is a withdrawal of heavy weaponry and artillery. Minsk is an immediate liberation of hostages. Minsk is an unimpeded access for the OSCE SMM to the control over the execution of the achieved agreements. Minsk is a complex of issues: political, humanitarian, social, economic, which facilitate peace and de-escalation of the conflict.
I am pleased to state that Ukraine strictly fulfills the undertaken commitments on the ceasefire regime, cooperation with the OSCE, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, implementation of humanitarian issues, including the creation of three humanitarian-logistics centers by the end of this month that will significantly simplify the life of Ukrainians in the occupied areas. The activity of humanitarian missions will be guaranteed. We carry out actions that will restore the supply of water and electricity jointly, fulfilling the commitments undertaken.
The main thing is to begin the political process, in the course of which after the discussion in the format of the Constitutional Commission and the approval of conclusions by the Venice Commission, I, as President, submitted the draft Constitution to the Parliament that fully meets the commitments undertaken by Ukraine. Several days ago, in Berlin, experts from Ukraine, Germany and France shared a common position that these amendments to the Constitution are constant and fully meet the undertaken commitments.
We clearly declare that for today, unfortunately, Russia and Russia-backed militants pose the only threat to the restoration of peace and stability in the region.
We clearly stated that we must guarantee security for the international observers from the OSCE SMM. We clearly agreed that we must ensure unimpeded access to all territories, including the uncontrolled area of the Ukrainian-Russian border in order to stop the supply of Russian troops, weapons and ammunition to the occupied territory.
We discussed the extreme danger of fake elections of October 18 and November 1 that do not comply with the Ukrainian legislation. It is a serious threat to the entire Minsk process.
We paid special attention to the liberation of hostages, including those imprisoned in Russia: Sentsov, Savchenko and others. I am confident that we should coordinate our steps in full, strict and comprehensive compliance with the Minsk agreements.
I am grateful to Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Francois for helping Ukraine implement the Association Agreement. It is crucially important. We re grateful that almost all EU member states, except Cyprus and Greece, have ratified this Agreement. I am very grateful for the support in the fulfillment of technical requirements on the visa-free regime Agreement. I believe that our cooperation in economic context is extremely important for the implementation of reforms and the restoration of the Ukrainian economy affected by war.
We will also discuss the issues of energy and trilateral cooperation between the EU, Ukraine and Russia that will ensure unimpeded and reliable gas transit through the territory of Ukraine during the winter period and conclude an Agreement that will facilitate the solution of energy threats for Ukraine.
My interlocutors expressed substantial interest to the implementation of reforms. I am very grateful for the support of France and Germany to all reforms currently implemented in Ukraine.
I believe that the Normandy format has a special importance for our countries. We reiterate strict compliance with the Minsk agreements. We agreed to use the nearest opportunities, inter alia, in the framework of the international events, to transmit these signals to Moscow.
I hope that the main result of our today's meeting will be the de-escalation in Donbas, termination of bloodshed, promotion of the early discussion on the modality of holding local elections under the Ukrainian law and the ODIHR standards.
Thank you for your attention.