Ploumen to travel to Ukraine

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen will be in Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday to attend the International Support Conference. There she will express her support for the reform process initiated by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s government. Ms Ploumen and her colleague Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders agree that ‘after the political sea change last autumn, when the population chose a new course, the government has an obligation to continue giving priority to democratic values, good governance and human rights. The international community, including the Netherlands, cannot just stand on the sidelines.’

Ukraine’s economy has taken a battering. Its economic woes are in part the legacy of previous governments but have been aggravated by the conflict in the east of the country. This is why reforms and international solidarity are essential. Ukraine has already received billions in essential aid through the IMF, the EBRD and other institutions, to which the Netherlands is an important donor. ‘Right now it is not just about more money, but also about how the money is being spent. It is important for the government to keep taking the right steps and to ensure it has the continuing support of the population for its reforms,’ according to Ms Ploumen.

The IMF has called the current policy the ‘most workable ever’ and has expressed confidence in the Yatsenyuk government’s reforms. Underlining the importance of the international support conference for Ukraine, Mr Koenders said, ‘Strengthening Ukraine’s economy is, first and foremost, of great importance to the country and its population. And a stronger economy will also improve the country’s resilience in the face of unrest and attempts to destabilise the region.’

The Netherlands has a bond with Ukraine in other areas too. For example, Ukraine is a member of the constituency at the World Bank and the IMF chaired by the Netherlands. And the Netherlands is grateful for the way in which the Ukrainian authorities responded to the MH17 disaster.