High-Profile Visits of German Officials to Ukraine in 2018 – A strong Sign of Germany’s Support for Ukraine’s Reform Agenda

  • Post category:Issue XX

Ernst Reichel
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine (2016–2019)

DOI https://doi.org/10.37837/2707-7683-2019-25

Abstract. The article examines the main visits of German officials to Ukraine in 2018. It is mentioned that Ukraine is a top-priority partner for Germany; the latter provides long-term and substantial technical and financial support in energy efficiency, economic development and infrastructure, decentralisation and local governance, the rule of law and fight against corruption as well as education, science, and mass media. Besides, trade relations between Ukraine and Germany are quite robust.
It is mentioned that Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, was the first to hand over the baton of high-profile diplomatic visits of German high-ranked officials to Ukraine. In the course of the durable conversation with President Poroshenko, two parishioners of statecraft discussed the matters related to the armed conflict in Donbas. For Steinmeier, that visit came as an opportunity to talk to Ukrainian youth and encourage communication between representatives of civil society of the two states. He also urged Ukrainian society to implement reforms in the state persistently, however hard they might be and whatever obstacles might be on the road.
In several hours after the departure of President Steinmeier, Heiko Maas paid a visit to Ukraine. Mr Maas reiterated President Steinmeier’s statement about the readiness to help Ukraine and focused his attention on specific actions to be taken to that end. It is stressed that it is highly important for Germany to stop the bloodshed in Europe. After visiting the destroyed city of Shyrokyne, Heiko Maas was deeply impressed with the scale of destruction and despair.
The visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who came to Ukraine in November 2018, was also examined. After the traditional reception with bread and salt at the Boryspil Airport organised by Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klychko, the official reception was held in the Mariinskyi Palace where President Poroshenko met the Chancellor with military honours. The negotiations focused on the necessity to ensure progress in implementing the Minsk Accords. The meeting of Chancellor Merkel with Prime Minister Hroisman was mostly devoted to the issues of bilateral relations and economic development. The Chancellor also delivered a speech before the students of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and encouraged youth to always search for the truth and not to be allured by populist promises.
Key words: Germany, state visits, Ukrainian-German relations, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Heiko Maas, Angela Merkel.

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