Merkel Says Germany To Back Ukraine After Tymoshenko Win

BERLIN, Germany -- Ukraine can bank on Germany's active support in implementing needed reforms, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a letter of congratulation Tuesday to newly elected Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

'Important reform decisions are pending in Ukraine, which will be of great significance as a lasting basis for further democratic and legal reforms in your country,' Merkel said.

Ukraine could continue to rely on Germany's support, she added.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tymoshenko's election marked 'an important first step on the road to a stable government.'

Welcoming the vote in the Ukraine parliament, Steinmeier said the coalition led by the reformist politician faced 'numerous tasks and reforms that needed to be approached with courage.'

The main tasks, he said, were 'the strengthening of democracy, investment protection and law and justice.'

'Germany will continue to back Ukraine in its reforms and in its approaches to the European Union,' the minister said in a statement.

Tymoshenko was elected by a one-vote majority in the 450-seat Ukrainian legislature, the Verhovna Rada.

She will lead a coalition replacing the previous pro-Russia government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur