February 22, 2016 / 12:35 PM / 2 years ago

Germany, France press for peace plan action ahead of Ukraine visit

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and France on Monday called for the implementation of the Minsk peace plan for Ukraine, urging both Moscow and Kiev to set aside differences and push forward with reforms.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) welcomes his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault for talks at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany February 22, 2016, before flying to Kiev for talks on implementing Minsk accord. REUTERS/Markus Schreiber/Pool

“We need the support from the Russian side to implement this Minsk deal and convince separatists to go along,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a news conference in Berlin with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, shortly before flying to Kiev for political talks.

“But we also need Ukraine’s domestic policy, especially in light of the turbulences of the last weeks and calls for the prime minister to step down,” Steinmeier added.

Steinmeier and Ayrault both urged the Ukrainian government to press ahead with political reforms such as agreeing on a new election law and special rights for regions.

“There’s simply not enough progress when it comes to implementing the political agreements”, Steinmeier said.

Reporting by Tina Bellon and Michael Nienaber

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