President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has held a meeting with Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. The parties have coordinated efforts of Ukraine and the European Union in the implementation of current tasks.
The President has called the visit of the Commissioner a powerful and symbolic signal of the European Union’s unity in willingness to support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression and annexation of Crimea, as well as securing sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Commissioner Hahn, in his turn, noted: “Today, I am here in Ukraine to once again emphasize – the EU firmly stands in support of Ukraine and we reiterate our position, especially regarding the necessity of solving the conflict in Donbas and Crimea”.
The parties have discussed the situation in Donbas. The President has noted that Russia and Russian-backed militants carried out offensive operations roughly violating the Minsk Agreements. The Ukrainian party has provided all the information, including the report of the OSCE Special Center for Control and Coordination, which convincingly proves that Ukraine firmly complies with undertaken commitments and is willing to fully implement the Minsk agreements.
As stated by the President, the parties will discuss “coordinated actions to provide incentives and motivations for our opponents in the Trilateral Contact Group, especially the Russian Federation, to comply with the obligations and provisions envisaged by the Minsk agreements”. “In this regard we expect the unity and solidarity of the EU. I mean the prolongation of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation in view of the absence of the progress on the Minsk agreements,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
In his turn, Commissioner Hahn stressed that the decision made on the eve of the following EU Summit regarding the prolongation of sanctions for the next 6 months and combination of those sanctions with the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements had demonstrated clear position of the EU on the necessity of supporting Ukraine in the conflicts of Donbas and Crimea.
The President noted: “Ukraine welcomes the growing participation of the EU in tackling security challenges in Ukraine. The first step on the way can be upscaling of efficient work of the EU Advisory Mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine. At the same time, the growing role of the EU Advisory Mission does not remove from the agenda an issue of sending to Ukraine the EU Mission in support of the Minsk agreements”.
According to the Head of State, yesterday it has been a year since Ukrainian captain of the Air Forces, Ukrainian MP, member of the PACE Nadiya Savchenko has been detained and taken illegally to the Russian Federation. In this view, we expect concerted actions and specific steps on using the instruments of persuasion to allow for the release of Nadiya Savchenko and other hostages,” the President said.
The President has expressed gratitude for tangible support provided by the EU for the stabilization of economic and financial situation in the country and the role in solving the humanitarian problems of IDPs who were forced to leave their territory as a result of Russian occupation.
The European Commissioner has informed that the EU had already provided about EUR 150 million for the solution of humanitarian problems in the country.
The EU Commissioner has also informed on the EU’s decision to allocate additional funds in view of the progress in ensuring the rule of law in Ukraine. It goes about the allocation of approximately EUR 70 million from the so-called “umbrella fund” after the completion of considering that issue by all the EU structures. “It will be an additional obligation for Ukraine to continue on this way,” Johannes Hahn said.
The Head of State has noted that the Parliament had ratified the package of agreements signed in Riga on May 22 to initiate the third EU macro-financial assistance program in the amount of EUR 1.8 billion. “We expect that the first tranche of the current MFA program will be disbursed in the nearest time,” the President said.
The European Commissioner is confident that the first tranche within this package in the amount of EUR 600 million will be provided for Ukraine in a few weeks.
The parties have exchanged their views on increasing the efficiency of DCFTA between Ukraine and the EU, which will start working in full force on January 1, 2016. The President is hopeful that the DCFTA Agreement will be ratified by all member-states by the end of this year in view of the fact that the Association Agreement has already been ratified by more than 20 EU member-states.
Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude for a powerful support from the EU in the issue of visa-free regime at the Eastern Partnership Summit. He is hopeful that the efficient cooperation will be prolonged and Ukraine may count on the establishment of visa-free regime in 2016 after the fulfillment of all technical issues.
Johannes Hahn also recalled that in the course of the Summit in Riga, he had announced the provision of EUR 100 million on grants for the Ukrainian SMEs to prepare themselves for the DCFTA. “These 100 million will lead into a loan provided by EIB and EBRD so that finally there should be another EUR 1 billion available in particular to allow SMEs to prepare themselves for the increased competition, but also for the opportunities of DCFTA,” the Commissioner said.
“The European Union is at your side. The provision of this money is linked to the fulfillment of all the necessary decisions. We should act as friends and partners to keep alive the European perspective of your country,” Johannes Hahn emphasized.
“We are making every effort to achieve our goal – the European future of Ukraine,” the President said.