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1 April, 1999
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Foreign Minister Tarasyuk Visits European Capitals To Discuss Ukraineís Mediation Efforts On Kosovo

"The President Leonid Kuchmaís initiative has received a positive response from the Contact Group members, though much more work is ahead," stressed Borys Tarasyuk, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, upon his return from the trip to European capitals.

Borys Tarasyuk traveled to the capitals of the Contact Group nations to present the Ukrainian Presidentís initiative as to the settlement of the conflict over Kosovo. On March 30, he paid short working visits to Bonn, Paris and London where he met his counterparts.

Foreign Ministers of these countries were informed about the Ukrainian proposals that had been discussed during Ukrainian delegationís visit to Belgrade on March 27, 1999. Borys Tarasyuk also noted that during his talks with President Milosevic, the Yugoslav side expressed interest in continued mediation efforts by Ukraine.

German, French and British foreign ministers appreciated the Ukrainian mediation initiative as timely and constructive. The Foreign Minister of Germany, which is currently presiding in the European Union, welcomed the President Leonid Kuchmaís initiative and the mediation mission by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine.

In French Foreign Ministerís view, Ukraine is taking steps in the right direction trying to set the conditions for a just settlement of the complex situation around the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He encouraged further mediation efforts by Ukraine.

In British Foreign Office, Robert Cook welcomed Ukraineís actions aimed at the establishment of dialogue with Belgrade. As he disclosed during the consultations with his Ukrainian counterpart, the NATO members would be ready to halt military actions at any time once the FRY stopped its practice of ethnic cleansing against Albanian Kosovars and agreed to resume negotiations.

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