Mini Ukraine-EU Summit held in Brussels
The Ukrainian president met with high level EU officials during the one day summit
Photos Mikhail Palinchak
On March 20, the Ukraine-EU mini-summit was held in Brussels with participation of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, as well as key members of the European Commission.
The main goal of the event was to harmonize the approaches to the development of relations between Ukraine and the EU for the near future and coordinate joint counteraction to the existing challenges.
The leaders welcomed the significant progress made in deepening bilateral relations since 2014, including the conclusion and implementation of the Association Agreement, successful functioning of the DCFTA and introduction of the visa-free regime.
The EU leaders stressed the importance of the irreversibility of Ukraine’s course towards rapprochement with the EU.
Poroshenko thanked the European Commission for the addendum 27 to the Association Agreement, which allows the synchronization of energy markets.
“This is our direct response to the Russian Federation, why the European Commission, the European Union should take an active part in the negotiations on energy issues, including the Nord Stream 2 [pipeline project],” Poroshenko emphasized.
He also said that the European Commission had supported his proposal on the digital market.
“For ordinary Ukrainians, this has very simple positions – the abolition of roaming charges when traveling. This is a so-called digital visa-free regime. And I think that this position is also extremely relevant,” he said.
The importance of ensuring free and fair presidential elections in Ukraine was highlighted as a result of which the course of integration into the European Union and implementation of comprehensive reforms will be maintained.
In this context, Poroshenko outlined the vision of key priorities for the development of the Ukrainian state and its relations with the European Union based on the process of achieving criteria for the EU membership.
The leaders agreed to coordinate efforts to counter external interference in electoral processes both in Ukraine and in the European Union, in particular in the area of cyber security and resistance to misinformation.
Acknowledging the 5th anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, Poroshenko reaffirmed unconditional commitment to the policy of de-occupation of the peninsula and its return under Ukrainian sovereignty politically and diplomatically. He thanked the EU for its clear position regarding the non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and the maintenance of the regime of sanctions against Russia for its brutal violation of international law.
He also welcomed the decision of the EU to introduce a new “Azov Package” of EU sanctions for violating the freedom of navigation and creeping occupation by Russia of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. He also urged increased pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately release Ukrainian prisoners of war.
The participants of the mini-summit agreed to accelerate the launch of the EU program on social and economic assistance to the area bordering the Azov Sea.
Poroshenko also expressed his hope that an agreement will be reached on the date of the next Ukraine-EU Summit.
“We hope that it will take place in the beginning of summer. After the conclusion of negotiations you will be able to hear the date of the summit,” he said.
|categories||Ukraine and the EU|