Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, on a mission to Kiev in the framework of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, reiterated the support of Belgium to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This starts by respecting the cease-fire on both sides. The only way to accomplish this is to implement the Minsk Agreement, the internationally accepted reference. It is time for the resumption of dialogue.
Minister Reynders also marked the Belgian support for the new Ukrainian government. The Maidan phenomenon demonstrated that the people want a new Ukraine, reinforced by the determination with which citizens defended their rights and fundamental freedoms for the future. The mission of the new government is to integrate these gains in the legislation in order to strengthen the democratic institutions and the rule of law. This implies constitutional and structural reforms.
This process of democratisation also requires profound changes in the economic and governance sectors, as recommended by the EU and the IMF. Belgium supports the government's ambitious reforms agenda, particularly in terms of cooperation between the central government and local authorities, as well as in the judiciary, public procurement, gas and pensions sectors. The Minister stressed that the main challenge lies in the implementation of this programme.
Didier Reynders finally assured his interlocutors of the support of the Council of Europe to strengthening the rule of law, democracy and human rights in Ukraine, including through the National Action Plan for Human Rights to be launched the first of January 2015. Minister Reynders noted that priority has to be given to the reform of the police, the end to impunity, the introduction of a new electoral law, decentralisation and accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.