German, French ministers plan Ukraine trip amid turmoil

BERLIN – Germany’s foreign minister and his new French counterpart plan to make a joint visit to Kyiv on Monday to prod Ukraine’s squabbling politicians to push ahead with reforms.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s spokesman, Martin Schaefer, said Friday he will meet in Berlin with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and they will then fly to Kyiv.

The visit comes amid mounting political turmoil in Ukraine, whose governing coalition lost its parliamentary majority on Thursday. Some respected reformers have resigned recently, citing disenchantment with the government’s cronyism and entrenched corruption.

Schaefer said the ministers will meet Ukraine’s president, prime minister and other senior politicians, as well as ministers who have resigned or threatened to. He said their message is: “You must not let Ukraine’s reform efforts come to a standstill.”