While I have not personally spoken to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk following recent events in Ukraine, the European Union through President Van Rompuy and the Commission continues to maintain regular contact with the Prime Minister and the interim government in Kiev and to keep member States informed of these discussions. President Van Rompuy held talks with the Prime Minister in Kiev on 12 May where he called for the implementation of the Geneva Joint Statement on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tension and restore security. He urged Russia to call upon the armed separatists to lay down their weapons and to vacate the buildings which they are illegally occupying.
On 13 May, President Barroso and members of the Commission met with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and members of the Ukrainian government in Brussels. As the President of the Commission stated, the joint meeting was part of the EU's continued support for a stable, sovereign, democratic and peaceful Ukraine. President Barroso and the Prime Minister signed a new “State Building Contract” programme worth €355 million which, together with €10 million to support civil society, will help the government to address short-term economic stabilisation needs and implement governance reforms aimed at promoting inclusive socio-economic development.
This meeting in Brussels has been followed up with a visit to Kiev by Commissioner Fule on 16 May and by Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas on 20 May who met with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Finance Minister Shlapak. As well as demonstrating the EU's political support and engagement, these contacts reinforce the message that the Union is fully committed to helping Ukraine to address its major economic challenges. In the short-term, the Union's efforts are focused on providing exceptional Macro-Financial Assistance. Provided the agreed reforms are implemented effectively and on schedule, the Commission expects to be able to disburse €1.6 billion during the course of this year.
Ireland and its EU partners stand firm in upholding Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and hope that last Sunday's Presidential election represents an important stage on the path towards the consolidation of an inclusive, representative and peaceful future for all Ukrainians.