Reform and fight against corruption vital in Ukraine

“I welcome the formation of an interim government in Ukraine. It is vital for the country to re-establish a properly functioning government apparatus as quickly as possible after the recent turmoil, and to start essential reform processes,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

“I welcome the formation of an interim government in Ukraine. It is vital for the country to re-establish a properly functioning government apparatus as quickly as possible after the recent turmoil, and to start essential reform processes,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

On 27 February 2014, the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, appointed a new government, headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Batkivshchyna party as prime minister. The Svoboda party, which was previously in the opposition, is also represented, and the government includes several leading activists from the Maidan protests. The interim government is to hold power until the presidential election on 25 May.

“I urge the new government to work towards a lasting solution to the political crisis, based on democratic principles, respect for human rights and legal reforms. This process must include respect for the rights of national, ethnic and linguistic minorities, in accordance with Ukraine’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and other international organisations,” continued Mr Brende.

“It is encouraging that the new government intends to start a far-reaching reform process. Norway is willing to contribute to this in cooperation with our international partners. We will also continue our support for civil society,” said Mr Brende.

The situation in Ukraine is still tense, with unrest and demonstrations in a number of places in the south and east of the country, including Crimea.

“The continuing unrest in parts of Ukraine is cause for concern. It is time for the country to put conflict and divisions behind it and for all regions to pull together. The new Ukrainian leadership should establish a good dialogue with Russia, which will continue to be an important neighbour and partner. And we expect Russia to provide constructive support for the new Ukrainian government,” said the Foreign Minister.

To ensure that Ukraine can move on, the new government must make sure that those responsible for acts of violence are brought to justice. I am pleased to note that the Council of Europe and its Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland have offered to assist the Ukrainian authorities in these efforts,” said Mr Brende.