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President encourages Ukraine to press ahead with reform agenda

At the end of his official visit to Ukraine (12-13 May), Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, welcomed the strong commitment of the Ukrainian authorities and of the newly-appointed government, to move towards European values and standards.

During his meetings in Kyiv, the PACE President said: "the Parliamentary Assembly is closely following the situation in Ukraine and fully supports it in confronting the challenges it is facing, both on its external borders and on the internal reform front".

"The Assembly firmly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and stands ready to continue assisting the Ukrainian authorities in achieving peace and prosperity," he said. "But in order to reach this goal, Ukraine needs to be strong and prosperous, with stable institutions and democratic structures. The new government now needs to devote even more energy and political resources to the constitutional reform process."

With all his interlocutors, the President underlined the importance of conducting a courageous fight against corruption, carrying out effective decentralisation and completing reform of the judiciary.

"This has to be done for the good of the people of Ukraine, who now need to see concrete results. All political forces, belonging to both the majority and the opposition, need to be more united than ever, engage in a constructive dialogue and find a minimum common denominator to allow reforms to go through. It is not an easy task, especially in this challenging time for Ukraine, but the Parliamentary Assembly stands ready to support the Verkhovna Rada in these efforts," he said.

The situation of PACE member Nadiya Savchenko was also raised in his meetings. "I hope to be able to welcome her in Strasbourg soon," he concluded.

During his official visit, the PACE President met the President of the Republic Petro Poroshenko, the Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, the Vice-Prime Minister for European Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy.

He also met the PACE delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly and held exchanges of view with representatives of the diplomatic community and international organisations working in Ukraine, as well as civil society.