Germany is willing to invest in Ukraine if its government tackles corruption and pares down the influence of oligarchs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday. The leader also said that German businesses are ready to invest in Ukraine if the country provides favorable conditions.
Merkel pressed the Ukrainian government to better deal with corruption while also praising the country for being on a “courageous path.” However, she added that Ukraine still has a lot to do to attract business and needed to take steps to improve its legal framework, Reuters reported.
“The dominant role of the oligarchs needs to be reversed, people need to be given transparency, corruption must be fought,” Reuters quoted Merkel as saying.
The German leader’s remarks came nearly a week before Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk’s Berlin visit scheduled next Friday. Both Merkel and Yatseniuk are due to open a German-Ukrainian economic conference to explore potential investment opportunities.
On Thursday, Merkel said that Germany and the European Union are still focusing on Ukraine, despite the ongoing refugee crisis. Merkel said she saw a “glimmer of hope” for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis. However, she added that economic sanctions against Russia could be rolled back only when the Minsk peace agreement is fully implemented, according to Reuters.
“I'm speaking of a glimmer of hope, nothing more and nothing less,” she said. “But this offers us the opportunity now to finally make progress on the road to a political solution.”
The EU and the United States have imposed sanctions against Russia because of its annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its alleged support for the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.