After hosting his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, on February 5, Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Ukraine on March 22 and 23.
It will also be an opportunity to show our support, alongside the EU and the G7, for the reform process in Ukraine and to strengthen cooperation between our two countries.
Mr. Le Drian will have a number of meetings with Ukrainian officials. With President Petro Poroshenko, notably, he will discuss the EU’s expectations with respect to reforms and the fight against corruption, particularly regarding the establishment of a specialized anticorruption court. Conversations with the Prime Minister will provide an opportunity to review our economic and commercial exchanges and to reiterate the expectations of French businesses with regard to reforms in order to establish a favorable climate for investment. France is currently the leading foreign employer in Ukraine, with more than 160 companies there. The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs will also meet with the Chairman of the Parliament, Andriy Parubiy, and the chairperson of the Foreign Policy Committee, Anna Hopko, to discuss the status of the reforms and reiterate France’s commitment to resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Together with his counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, Jean-Yves Le Drian will work on strengthening our bilateral relations in the areas relating to the economy and human exchanges, and will reaffirm the need for Ukraine to continue its reform efforts and efforts to combat corruption, in accordance with the EU and IMF conditionalities. The ministers will hold detailed discussions on the status of the negotiations on implementing the Minsk agreements as well as the security and humanitarian situation. During his visit, Jean-Yves Le Drian will bestow the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor upon Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan. He will also meet with the prisoners freed during the exchange on December 27 and with representatives of individuals who have disappeared, with whom he will discuss their detention conditions and the mechanisms that can be implemented in order to facilitate the identification of and search for those who are missing.
During his visit, Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Maidan, a symbol of the hopes and expectations of the Ukrainian people, together with author Andrey Kourkov, who witnessed the 2014 events. He will also visit the Babi Yar memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
France remains fully committed to resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and is attached to respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty throughout its territory.