Ukraine-EU Summit: Russian Aggression Major Topic
The parties discussed the ongoing conflict in Donbas, the Stanytsia Luhansk crossing, Crimea and other issues concerning Ukraine
Photo President Zelensky Press Office
At the 21st Ukraine-EU Summit, the parties summed up the results of the Ukraine-EU relations and discussed plans and priorities for the future.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that the future was impossible without peace in Ukraine, and spoke about the visit to Stanytsia Luhanska with President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
“It is a pity that there were no delegations from some countries from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe with us. I am sure, it would be useful to them. Therefore, if someone has doubts about the prolongation of sanctions, I invite everyone to Donbas to see how much damage the war brought us. And we really want to stop this war. And we want to bring peace to Ukraine. But it is possible to achieve it using the only ‘weapon.’ This weapon is diplomacy,” Zelensky emphasized.
Zelensky appreciated the fact that, at the meeting, the European partners had confirmed the immutability of their position on the behavior of the Russian Federation.
“Do not think that ‘sanctions’ is my favorite word. My favorite word is ‘peace.’ And all the measures implemented are aimed at a single goal – the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Zelensky noted.
He said that the separation of troops on both sides had been held in Stanytsia Luhanska. Now, concrete fortifications are to be dismantled in the occupied territory in order to begin the reconstruction of the bridge.
“I believe that we are moving towards a sustainable ceasefire. I understand that it is not as fast as I would like. In fact we are moving on the minefield – in all meanings of this word,” Zelensky said.
According to him, a lot of work is ahead for the restoration of Donbas. He thanked the European Union for a number of infrastructure projects aimed to improve the lives of people in the region, particularly in the occupied territories. He also noted practical EU projects in the Ukrainian Pryazovia, which continues to suffer from the economic blockade of the Sea of Azov.
“We will discuss all these issues at the investment forum on restoring the Donbas infrastructure, which is planned to be held in Mariupol in September. And at all foreign meetings, I invite all the investors, both Ukrainian and foreign, to take part in the forum,” Zelensky emphasized.
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, confirmed that the EU would continue to steadily support the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and would never recognize the annexation of Crimea. According to him, the EU has unanimously continued economic sanctions against Russia for six months recently and they will be in effect until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.
“The European Council also called on Russia to release 24 detained military sailors and ensure an unobstructed navigation in the Sea of Azov,” Donald Tusk said.
In addition, the EU is willing to continue to support the Minsk agreements, including the non-recognition of the issuance of Russian passports to the residents of the occupied territories. Tusk noted that he had visited Stanytsia Luhanska to see the situation with his own eyes.
“It is absolutely clear that the Minsk agreements must be fully implemented by all parties now, as never before. Russia bears a special responsibility in this regard,” he stressed.
The EU also confirms support for diplomatic efforts within the Normandy format, the OSCE, the Trilateral Contact Group to achieve peace in Ukraine.
“I would like to reiterate my call to Russia to liberate all Ukrainians illegally detained in the Russian territory and the Crimean peninsula,” Tusk said.
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, noted that Zelensky had begun his presidential term in times when Ukraine and the EU have the best relations.
“Our partnership is mutual solidarity and friendship,” he said. According to him, this is why the EU supports Ukraine in defending its independence and territorial integrity.
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