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Tánaiste hosts Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., calls for release of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov after meeting with Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin

 

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., today hosted a working lunch for Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, in Iveagh House.

The Tánaiste and Minister Klimkim held a wide ranging discussion on the current situation in Ukraine, focussing particularly on the conflict in eastern Ukraine and progress on the implementation of Ukraine’s national reform programme. The recent decision to open a resident Irish Embassy in Ukraine was welcomed by Minister Klimkin and both he and the Tánaiste look forward to a strengthening of bilateral ties.

During the meeting, the Tánaiste reiterated Ireland’s full support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity:

I assured Minister Klimkin that Ireland stands in full solidarity with Ukraine as it deals with the consequences of a four year conflict in the Donbas, which has claimed over 10,300 lives. We remain unwavering in our support of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and do not recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The fragile security situation and the dire suffering of the civilian population in eastern Ukraine continues to be a matter of deep concern. After four years of conflict, it is regrettable that a stable ceasefire has not yet been achieved.

The key to resolving the crisis is the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. It is vital that Russia uses its considerable influence with the separatists to de-escalate the situation and commit to a peaceful resolution of this tragic conflict.”

The Tánaiste also praised Minister Klimkin for the commitment the Ukrainian government has shown to reforms:

Ukraine has made impressive progress in pursuing corruption, reducing debt, improving public procurement procedures, and reforming the police and security sector. It is important that this momentum is maintained and that the government continues on its ambitious reform path.”  

The Tánaiste also expressed his deep concern at the case of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker serving a 20 year jail sentence in a Russian prison, who is currently on hunger strike:

“I am gravely concerned at Oleg Sentsov’s deteriorating health after seven weeks on hunger strike in a Russian jail. I call for his immediate release and that of all other Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia.”

 

ENDS 

Press Office 

28 June 2018