UWC welcomes EU-Ukraine Summit statement reaffirming the EU’s firm support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and reform process
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) welcomes the Joint statement issued following the 20th Summit between leaders of the European Union (EU) and Ukraine on 9 July 2018 in Brussels that reaffirmed the EU’s positive assessment of EU-Ukraine relations and signalled continued support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the face of ongoing military aggression by the Russian Federation.
The UWC welcomes the EU’s strong condemnation of “acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014”, which continue to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to the present day. In that context, the EU condemned the ongoing militarisation of the Crimean peninsula, which is illegally occupied by the Russian Federation since February 2014. The EU also called for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula and in the Russian Federation. The EU also added that the duration of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, which were recently renewed by the EU, remains clearly linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The EU emphasized the substantial increase in bilateral trade volumes between the EU and Ukraine as a result of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) that came into effect on 1 September 2017, and noted the positive impacts of the visa‑free regime on people-to-people contacts between citizens of Ukraine and EU member states. The EU also praised the reform accomplishments in a wide range of policy sectors in Ukraine, such as healthcare and pension systems, decentralization, public procurement, privatization and transparent governance of state owned enterprises. The EU further acknowledged Ukraine’s adoption of the law on national security, Energy Strategy up to 2035, and a number of initiatives in the area of environmental protection. Furthermore, the EU welcomed the recent adoption of the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court as an important step forward in reducing levels of corruption, and emphasised the importance of amending the law to ensure its jurisdiction on appeals of relevant first instance court decisions. The EU also underlined that the independence and effectiveness of existing anti-corruption institutions needs to be strengthened, which includes introduction of a functional verification mechanism for asset e-declarations and the exemption of civil activists from the obligation to file such declarations. The EU further indicated that it looks forward to working with Ukraine on improvement of the business climate, revoking the measures incompatible with the AA/DCFTA, continuous integration of Ukraine into the EU’s energy market, and the imminent conclusion of the Common Aviation Area Agreement.
“The Ukrainian World Congress welcomes the Joint statement following the EU-Ukraine Summit, particularly the EU’s uncompromising stance regarding Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU’s commitment to the implementation of the AA/DCFTA, and its positive assessment of Ukraine’s numerous reforms”, noted UWC President Eugene Czolij.