Foreign Secretary meets Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

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(London Post)    The UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin to discuss reform, UNSC and anti-corruption.

Speaking to media after the meeting on 11 February, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

Good morning. I’m delighted to welcome my friend Pavlo Klimkin here today for these discussions. We have had a chance to review bilateral British Ukraine relations, to talk about the Minsk process, Ukraine’s own reform programme and to discuss the work that we do together in the context of the UN Security Council.

On the Minsk process Britain remains committed to the process and to seeing the delivery of the commitments that were made on both sides by Ukraine and by Russia in the Minsk Agreement. We have discussed the challenges that process currently faces and ways in which the process might be taken forward and I know that Pavlo will be meeting with German and French counterparts in Munich over the next couple of days to talk about these issues. We have also discussed the Ukrainian reform process and I have welcomed the progress that has been made, the creation of anti-corruption institutions, the reform of tax laws and other important steps forward but again urging Pavlo and the Ukrainian delegation that they move as fast as possible beyond the establishment mechanisms and institutions to the delivery of real and tangible results.

The anti-corruption drive will only feel real and permanent when there is a sense in Ukraine that nobody any longer is untouchable. But we support the reform programme, we are providing technical assistance and we will continue to provide technical assistance in the future. Pavlo has raised with me the question of Ukrainian citizens held by the Russians, some of them for long periods of time now, and we will continue to work together with our Ukrainian partners to press for their release as we will work together to see proper justice delivered to those responsible for the MH17 air disaster.

We have also talked about our work together in the United Nations, we welcome Ukraine to the Security Council and we are delighted that Ukraine is committed despite its own pressing problems at home, its conflict with Russia, to playing a full role across the entire range of UN Security Council matters. And we look forward to working together on issues as diverse as the conflict in Syria and the Middle East to the challenges in central Africa. We will continue to collaborate on all of these areas as likeminded countries.

So once again a very constructive couple of hour’s discussion this morning. We will both find ourselves in Munich over this weekend and will no doubt have the opportunity to have further informal discussions over the course of the next 72 hours and I look forward to paying a visit to Kyiv in the next few weeks with my Polish counterpart to carry on these discussions.