Ukraine clearly declared its European choice - Poroshenko in the EU Summit

Author : Petro Poroshenko

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko noted that the 19th Ukraine – EU Summit was symbolic, as it became the Summit of the visa-free regime and association

16:06, 14 July 2017

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I will not reveal all the efforts we made to ensure the completion of ratification. We have been waiting for long 1110 days since the adoption and signature of the Association Agreement in 2014 in Brussels. It was very important.

The right to choose the future belongs solely to Ukrainians and no country in the world can turn on the red light on this path. However, no nation has paid such a high price for the rapprochement with the EU.

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I am confident that the visa-free regime has become a real watershed between the European future and the Soviet past of Ukraine. “This is a final “Goodbye!” to the Soviet Union and the Russian empire and the return of Ukraine to the family of European nations.

It is very important when the results of our work can be noticed by anyone. When we do not only plan, but also bring concrete results of our work.

Ukraine has clearly declared its European aspirations and European choice. We will not give it up and nobody has the right to take it away from us.

We should eliminate differences between a Ukrainian student who will study in the European universities and students from the EU countries. These are the investments not only in the future of Ukraine, but also in the future of Europe.

Our strategic task is to establish Ukraine as a successful European democracy with strong state institutions and a competitive economy integrated into the economic space of the European Union. We want every Ukrainian to feel the benefits of the European integration.

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Three years ago when I was elected President and people asked me about my program of presidential action, I clearly answered that it is the Association Agreement and the reforms laid down in this agreement

I expect that our meeting will give a clear signal to the Ukrainian people, the citizens of the EU and the whole world about our unity, solidarity and common belief in our values.

An indication of this support is the prolongation of the EU’s economic sanctions against the Russian Federation until January 2018 and the Crimean sanctions package until June 2018. There is a clear statement that sanctions will remain until full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

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Ensuring a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the current crisis is possible only if Russia returns fully and irrevocably to the framework of international law.

I hope that someday we will hold the next Ukraine – EU Summits - let me express this assumption - in Donetsk and Yalta. I would do everything possible for that.

All the wording satisfying Ukraine and the European Union is reflected in this document, which has finally been ratified and is coming into force in a few weeks. Ukraine will not make any compromises regarding our European plans enshrined in the Association Agreement. We offered the European Commission to hold the international forum in 2018 on the prospects of using Ukraine’s gas transport system. Potential capacities of Ukraine’s GTS for the energy security of Europe.

The EU confirmed its willingness to support the Fund of Ukraine’s energy efficiency. We adopted the relevant law and I am going to sign it shortly.

In this context, we instructed to elaborate the opportunity of organizing a powerful investment conference on Ukraine in the early 2018 in Brussels.

I would like to congratulate you on your birthday, dear Oleg. We remember you and strive for your prompt return home.

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We agreed to provide more pragmatic support to our dialogue on the consequences of the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula. Today, we have all conditions to switch from the policy of non-recognition to the active strategy of de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia turns into the island of slavery and threats.

I would like to once again highlight the prospects of gradual decrease of roaming fees for mobile calls and data transfer between Ukraine and the EU countries. I insist that the development of interpersonal contacts between Ukrainians and citizens of the EU member-states, as well as the establishment of a single European communication environment is crucially important.

Ukraine has great prospects in the integration in the EU's Common Digital Market.  We discussed this today. We also insist on other projects that are really ambitious and I am grateful for the support of our partners.

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In general, I am very satisfied with the results of today’s Summit that has reaffirmed our unity, solidarity and willingness to move towards deeper integration of Ukraine into the EU.

Sanctions must remain until the elimination of the reasons of their introduction, namely until full restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including Crimea.

I am sincerely grateful to the EU leaders for their unity and solidarity on the Russian aggression. It is a key to the restoration of peace and security in Europe.

The parties confirmed mutual understanding of the current situation and Russia’s responsibility for that. It is obvious, that Ukraine is an object of aggression and the Russian Federation is an arrogant and cynical aggressor, not an intermediary.

The establishment of the Ukraine-EU informal working group on strategic communication will raise the efficiency of our response to hacking and disinformation campaigns from Russia not only against Ukraine, but also against all the EU countries.

Even a year ago, a lot of politicians did not believe in possibility of ratification of the Association Agreement and introduction of the visa-free regime. And only our enthusiasm, enthusiasm of optimists has made it possible with the assistance of our friends and partners.

That is why it is important to start the elaboration of “roadmaps” for the achievement of our dreams today.

Related: Poroshenko: we need to plan our path towards further integration into the EU today

Ukraine has intentions to join the Customs Union with the EU, integrate into the Schengen Area, become part of the Digital Market or the Energy Union – this is a powerful stimulus for the implementation of economic and social, sectoral reforms, increase of our common trade and investments.

It is important to outline new strategic prospects we will strive for. It is about the interdependence between the progress in Ukraine's reforms and Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU.

We must make every effort for the European integration to stop being an abstract notion and become clear for our citizens.

With the removal of visa curtain, we have started to ruin the borders between our nations that share common values.

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Kyiv becomes a truly important center on the diplomatic map of the world. And it is very symbolic that the highlight of this diplomatic marathon is the historic Ukraine-EU Summit. This is a moment that summarizes Ukraine's many years of efforts on the European integration path.