Brussels encourages Kiev
Ukraine gets good signs for its Euro-Atlantic future, reforms continue to be priority
14 July, 2017
Ukraine received last week several good news about its Euro-Atlantic future. At the meeting between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Kiev on Monday, the two leaders stated that they would begin a discussion about a membership action plan, a move deeply opposed by Russia.
On Tuesday the EU formally approved the Association Agreement with Ukraine, which will take effect on 1 September. The next two days Kiev hosted EU leaders at the 19th EU-Ukraine summit.
Meeting President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the EU support in his country's conflict with Russia and thanked for extending the economic sanctions against Moscow, media in Kiev reported. "I hope that one day…we will hold another Ukraine-EU summit in Donetsk and in Yalta," Poroshenko said, referring to a city in the separatist-held part of eastern Ukraine and another in Russian-occupied Crimea.
EU leaders reiterated the support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They stayed behind the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Normandy format for the implementation of Minsk peace agreement, insisting on Russia's specific responsibility in this process.
The main focus was put on the importance for Ukraine to continue with the reforms, especially in the fight against corruption. Fresh impetus to strengthening the functioning and independence of anticorruption institutions, such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the removal of the extension of e-declaration of assets to activists of anti-corruption NGOs, setting up a high anti-corruption court and ensuring transparency of the selection of judges to the Supreme Court, are vital in this respect, EU notes. In this context, the summit provided the EU and Ukraine to identify further reform priorities for the coming months and years.
Both sides welcomed the ratification by all EU countries of the association agreement, which includes a free trade area. After 18 months of provisional application of the agreement, trade between the EU and Ukraine continued to grow and the EU has reinforced its position as Ukraine's primary partner.
Ukrainian citizens recently got another occasion to feel more Europeans. As of 11 June 2017, they can travel to the EU for up to 90 days for business, tourist or family purposes without a visa, only with a biometric passport.