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Joint statement on the results of 23rd EU-Ukraine summit: full text

Source : 112 Ukraine

The statement was approved by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen
14:00, 12 October 2021

Official website of the President of Ukraine

Today in Kyiv, during the 23rd EU-Ukraine summit, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen made a joint statement as the President’s Office.

Full text of the statement:

  1. We are meeting today to reaffirm our continued commitment to strengthening Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the European Union on the basis of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. We share the common values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for international law and human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and gender equality. The EU has reaffirmed its unwavering support and dedication to the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
  2. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to further strengthen Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the European Union, in particular by continuing close cooperation to strengthen the rule of law, advance reforms, and promote sustainable economic growth, in support of green and digital transformation and increased resilience.
  3. We have recognized Ukraine’s European aspirations and welcomed its European choice, as enshrined in the Association Agreement and in the context of its entry into force in September 2017 following the decision of the EU Heads of States and Governments in December 2016. We reminded that the effective implementation of the Association Agreement and its envisaged Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which is linked to the broader regulatory convergence process and related necessary reforms, will help create conditions for deepening economic and trade relations with the EU, leading to further gradual economic integration of Ukraine into the EU internal market, as provided by the Association Agreement. We agreed to make full use of the potential of the Association Agreement and underlined mutual commitments to achieve this goal.
  4. We welcomed the results already achieved in the implementation of the Association Agreement and the success of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which has contributed to a significant increase in bilateral trade flows since its implementation in January 2016 and the EU’s transformation into Ukraine’s largest trading partner. We also recognized the progress made by Ukraine in the regulatory approach to EU law, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the DCFTA.
  5. We have summed up the current comprehensive review of the achievement of the objectives of the Agreement, as provided for in Article 481. We welcomed the exchange of our respective assessments in order to present the joint assessment at the bilateral Summit in 2022 in Brussels.
  6. We recognized the current achievements and the importance of further strengthening the Eastern Partnership based on shared values and principles of differentiation, inclusiveness, and shared ownership, and in this regard, we recalled the declaration of the 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit. We commended the initiative of the three associate partners aimed at strengthening coordination between them and deepening cooperation between the three associate partners and the EU. We look forward to the Sixth Eastern Partnership Summit in 2021, which should establish ambitious long-term goals and a new generation of priorities for the post-2020 period.
  7. A high level of solidarity, unity and mutual dedication was demonstrated in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become an unprecedented challenge for the health systems and economies of Ukraine and the EU member states. We noted the gratitude of the Ukrainian leadership and citizens for the EU’s assistance, including for the provision of vaccines against COVID-19. The € 190 million aid package and the € 1.2 billion macro-financial assistance program that the EU has mobilized for Ukraine to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences far exceed the EU’s assistance to any other partner. We confirmed our readiness to work closely to ensure access to vaccines against COVID-19 within the COVAX platform, including through the EU Vaccine Transfer Mechanism, the provision of vaccines to Ukraine through it by the EU Member States. We welcomed the EU’s decision on the compatibility of the European digital COVID certificate and the Ukrainian digital certificate for mutual facilitation of the movement of people during the COVID-19 restrictions and recognized the achievements of Ukraine in this regard.
  8. We recognized the significant progress made by Ukraine in the reform process and agreed on the need to further strengthen these efforts. We welcomed the historic opening of the agricultural land market in Ukraine. We reaffirmed that the comprehensive and consistent implementation of judicial reform remains vital to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience and future success. In this context, we welcomed the adoption of amendments to the Laws of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice” and “On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges”, which are crucial for the restoration of the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine. We stressed the need to quickly implement these reforms and reform the Constitutional Court. We also welcomed the renewal of criminal liability for inaccurate declaration of property.
  9. We stressed the need for further efforts by Ukraine to ensure the independent and effective functioning of anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, including through a de-politicized merit-based selection process for leadership positions. The EU welcomed Ukraine’s efforts to limit opportunities for corruption and its commitment to countering the influence of private interests (“de-oligarchization”), including through the legally sound adoption and implementation of relevant legislation, and called for further steps in this direction. The EU reaffirmed its continued support for Ukraine’s efforts towards ambitious reforms, especially in the judiciary and the fight against corruption. Ukraine reaffirmed its commitment to the ratification of the Rome Statute, as provided for in the Association Agreement.
  10. We stressed the importance of security sector reform, in particular the adoption of the Law on the Security Service of Ukraine, which provides a solid foundation for transforming the Security Service of Ukraine into a modern body with well-defined functions and rigorous democratic oversight in line with international principles and best practices.
  11. We recognized the importance of further strengthening cooperation to counter hybrid threats and counter disinformation. The EU will continue to support Ukraine’s resilience, in particular by strengthening independent media and an appropriate regulatory framework, as well as sharing best practices on media freedom and media literacy, strategic communication, and supporting Ukrainian initiatives to combat disinformation. We emphasized the important role played by civil society, youth, and independent media in all spheres of public and political life, as well as in the context of countering disinformation campaigns against Ukraine and the EU, carried out in particular by Russia. We welcomed the holding of the first cyber dialogue between Ukraine and the EU on June 3, 2021, and look forward to the next round in the second quarter of 2022. We stressed the importance of deepening inter-institutional cooperation on cybersecurity issues.
  12. We also noted the importance of further strengthening cooperation in the field of the Joint Security and Defense Policy (JSPP) and the enhanced rapprochement of Ukraine with the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (JSPP), and in this context, we recalled our joint commitment to promote the principles enshrined in the Agreement on the association, in particular in Article 7 (2). We look forward to participating in the EU military operation Altea and noted Ukraine’s willingness to participate in selected projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) program. The EU will explore possibilities to further support Ukraine’s resilience, in particular in the area of vocational military education.
  13. We welcomed the successful application of the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens. We stressed the importance of further adhering to the criteria for visa liberalization and accelerating related reforms. We congratulated the restoration of optional travel, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We welcomed the recently launched negotiations regarding Ukraine’s accession to the European Migration Network (EMN) as an observer.
  14. The EU has reaffirmed its continued strong support for Ukraine, clearly linked to the effective implementation of reforms and policies. The EU recalls that since 2014, the EU and European financial institutions have mobilized an unprecedented package of loans and grants worth more than 17 billion euros. The EU intends to offer bilateral financial assistance in 2021 under the Neighborhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) to support key reforms and implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. We congratulated the presentation of the EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership and its flagship initiatives for Ukraine, which will mobilize up to € 6.47 billion in public and private investment to stimulate economic development and support recovery from the pandemic, and agreed to implement it quickly. The EU has reaffirmed ongoing humanitarian support for conflict-affected populations in eastern Ukraine in the amount of € 25.4 million for 2021. In addition, we noted the important role of the Ukraine Support Group in the European Commission (SGUA) and the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform (EMC).
  15. We congratulated the fulfillment of the conditions of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance Emergency Program for Ukraine and took note of the decision to allocate the second tranche in the amount of EUR 600 million. We stress the importance of continuing the relevant reforms. We reaffirmed the importance of supporting Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability and meeting commitments to the IMF.
  16. We look forward to further strengthening economic integration through regulatory convergence through the Association Agreement in the following areas:
  • We welcomed the start of negotiations to expedite and expand the scope of the abolition of import duties in accordance with Article 29 (4) of the Association Agreement. We have agreed to fully comply with obligations under the DCFTA (including by addressing trade irritants such as a moratorium on timber exports, by applying measures necessary to comply with the relevant Arbitration Panel ruling, and by ensuring that the use of trade protection procedures is fully compliant in all cases. WTO standards), and continue to discuss and review ways to improve the implementation of the DCFTA to unleash its full potential and further develop and promote bilateral trade. We welcomed the approval of the “Priority Action Plan to Strengthen the Implementation of the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) 2021-2022”.
  • We welcomed the start of a dialogue on the European Green Deal and Ukraine’s Green Transition. The EU side welcomes Ukraine's commitment to bringing its policies and legislation closer to the European Green Deal and reaffirmed its commitment to support Ukraine in this effort through a wide range of available instruments and in cooperation with international financial institutions. The EU Party welcomed Ukraine’s approval of the updated National Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement and invited Ukraine to adopt a long-term low-carbon development strategy, including interim targets, with the obligatory goal of achieving climate neutrality no later than 2050, as well as to introduce reforms that will promote and accelerate its green transition. Ukraine presented its position on the Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The EU will continue to support Ukraine in the green transition, including the development of carbon pricing policies in the context of the EU’s proposed Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
  • We welcomed the completion of negotiations to update the Annexes on Financial Cooperation (Annex XLIV), Telecommunications Services, Postal and Courier Services, and International Maritime Transport (Annex XVII) of the Association Agreement and look forward to similar progress on Annexes with the approximation of customs legislation (Annex XV) surrounding environment and climate (Appendices XXX-XXXI), audiovisual policies (Appendix PAGES), establishment and operation of companies, corporate governance, accounting and auditing (Appendices XXXIV, XXXV, XXXV) and consumer protection (Appendix XXXIX). We agreed to intensify efforts to address the challenges in the areas of climate impacts, environment, and biodiversity, as stipulated in the Association Agreement and in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
  • We took into account the current preliminary assessment of Ukraine’s readiness for the Agreement on Conformity and Acceptance Assessment of Industrial Products (ACAA) and welcomed the start of the second phase of the preliminary assessment of the quality infrastructure. We welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and Ukraine on the initiation of a strategic partnership in the raw materials sector with the aim of achieving closer integration of the raw materials and battery value chains.
  • We agreed on the importance of further cooperation on the integration of energy markets and energy systems of Ukraine with the EU energy market on equal terms based on Ukraine’s confirmed obligations to complete the reform of the electricity and gas market, including the effective implementation of the updated Annex XXVII to the Association Agreement. We agreed to create a high-level working group within our bilateral energy partnership to accelerate the reforms of the electricity and gas market in Ukraine. We also agreed to coordinate further steps to integrate gas and electricity markets. The EU side reaffirmed its full support for the synchronization of the interconnected energy system of Ukraine with the European ENTSO-E grid after fulfilling all the necessary technical and market prerequisites.
  • We reaffirmed Ukraine’s role as a strategic gas transit country and reaffirmed our support for the continued transit of gas through Ukraine beyond 2024. We stressed the importance of continuing to modernize the Ukrainian national gas transmission system and further cooperation to enhance European energy security. In the context of existing and future gas transmission systems in Ukraine and the EU, we reaffirmed our joint obligations to fully implement the current EU legislation and obligations under the Association Agreement. We also agreed to make maximum use of each other’s existing energy networks and capacities, as well as consult and coordinate in appropriate situations on infrastructure development that could harm the interests of both Parties. We stressed the need for the full application of EU energy and competition law. Ukraine and the EU stressed the importance of working together against any potential efforts by third parties to use energy as a weapon, in particular in the context of the implications for the stability of gas transit through Ukraine. We emphasize the importance of a high-level energy partnership between Ukraine and the EU to discuss strategic aspects of energy cooperation that will provide a platform for enhancing energy security and green transition in Ukraine and the EU.
  • Ukraine noted its efforts to achieve a full mutual regime of the internal market in the field of telecommunications services and joining the EU Digital Single Market under the Association Agreement. The EU welcomed Ukraine’s continued involvement in fulfilling its obligations in the field of telecommunications services, which, if fully met, could lead to the application of an internal market regime for this sector. In this context, the important role of an effective and independent regulator in the field of telecommunications was emphasized. We noted the progress in the implementation of the joint work plan on e-fiduciary services, leading to a possible agreement, which should be based on an approximation to EU legislation and standards. We welcomed the agreement to update Annex XVII to the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
  • We agreed on the importance of improving communication between Ukraine, the EU, and other Eastern Partnership countries in order to facilitate trade, further develop reliable and sustainable transport links, and support people-to-people contacts. We welcomed the signing of the Agreement between Ukraine, the EU, and its Member States on a Joint Aviation Space and look forward to its early entry into force, which will contribute to the development of mutual combinations, in particular, by creating conditions for new commercial opportunities for airlines in Ukraine and the Member States. EU. We welcomed the ongoing work to integrate Ukraine’s inland waterways into the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and we agreed on the importance of significant progress for Ukraine in reforming the rail transport system.
  • We welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Ukraine’s participation in the Horizon Europe program, the Euratom research, and training program, and the Creative Europe program. The EU also welcomed Ukraine’s readiness to participate in EU programs under the new Multi-Year Financial Outlook, in particular in the international dimension of the Erasmus +, EU4Health, Single Market, and Civil Protection programs.
  • We congratulated Ukraine’s presidency as the first country outside the EU in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, starting November 1, 2021.
  1. Ukraine and the EU reaffirmed their determination to fully respect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, as provided for by the UN and Council of Europe conventions and relevant protocols. In this regard, Ukraine will continue to consult and cooperate with the Venice Commission and will continue an ongoing meaningful dialogue with representatives of persons belonging to national minorities, including on related legislation.
  2. We reiterate our strong condemnation of the clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as a result of acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces, beginning in February 2014. We do not recognize and continue to condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the intensification of the militarization of the peninsula, a serious deterioration in the human rights situation there, as well as restrictions on the freedom of Ukrainian citizens, to enter and leave the Crimean peninsula. We condemned the holding of elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, which was held in the illegally annexed peninsula on September 17-19, 2021, contrary to the spirit and goals of the Minsk agreements, in which residents of the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by the Government of Ukraine were also involved. We called on Russia to grant international organizations and human rights defenders unhindered access to areas that are not yet under Ukrainian control, including the Crimean peninsula, and to respect international humanitarian law. In this context, we called for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned persons on the Crimean peninsula and in Russia, including Crimean Tatar activists. We condemn the ongoing persecution, as well as the recent actions of the Russian Federation against the Crimean Tatars. We continue to call on Russia to ensure unhindered and free passage to and from the Sea of Azov, in accordance with international law. We condemn Russia’s decision to close part of the Black Sea to Russian warships and state vessels and call on Russia to refrain from violating the legal exercise of the rights and freedoms of navigation. We agreed on the importance of coordinating international efforts to strengthen resilience to growing threats to security and stability in the Black Sea region.
  3. We remain fully committed to implementing and updating our respective non-recognition policies, including through the use of restrictive measures. To this end, we will continue our regular consultations on these policies and cooperation, including at international forums.
  4. We welcomed diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The EU welcomes the creation of the international Crimean Platform, launched by its founding summit on 23 August in Kyiv, and supports the implementation of the provisions of the Joint Declaration signed by the EU and its member states.
  5. We reaffirmed our full support for the efforts of the Normandy Format, the Trilateral Contact Group, and the OSCE, including its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. We stressed the importance of the full implementation of the measures agreed upon during the Normandy summit in Paris in December 2019, as well as the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, emphasizing the responsibility of Russia as a party to the conflict. We welcomed the constructive approach of Ukraine in the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group and called on Russia to act constructively and take good faith participation in the negotiations within these formats to resolve the conflict. We condemn the violations of the ceasefire by the armed groups supported by Russia and also call on Russia to fully recognize its responsibility in this context and to use its significant influence on the armed groups that it supports, to restore a comprehensive ceasefire, to implement the Minsk agreements in full, to provide free and unimpeded access by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to non-government-controlled areas along the Ukrainian-Russian state border, in accordance with its mandate. We express our regret at Russia's decision not to agree to the continuation of the OSCE Observer Mission at two checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border (Gukovo and Donetsk), which contradicts the spirit of the Minsk agreements and does not contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We reiterated our call for Russia to immediately end incitement to the conflict by providing financial and military assistance to the armed groups it supports, and to withdraw Russian troops and equipment from the eastern border of Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula. We remain deeply concerned about the presence of Russian military equipment and personnel in the territories not controlled by the Government of Ukraine and in the illegally annexed the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We urge Russia to fulfill its obligations under the Vienna Document and to provide more transparency and credible explanation for the deployment of military forces and equipment in these areas. The EU has again extended its economic sanctions against Russia, their duration remains clearly determined by the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
  6. We reaffirm our condemnation of Russia’s continued steps to encourage Ukrainian citizens in territories not controlled by the Government of Ukraine to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure, as well as the issuance of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens, which is contrary to the Minsk Agreements.
  7. Ukraine congratulated the Conclusions of the European Council of 24 June 2021, in which EU leaders reaffirmed that full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains the main condition for any major changes in the EU’s position on relations with Russia.
  8. We agreed to continue our cooperation to overcome the socio-economic and humanitarian consequences of the conflict, emphasizing the importance of supplying water, electricity, and gas across the contact line, to facilitate the movement of people and goods, and to ensure that people who live in areas outside the control of the Government of Ukraine are fully exercise their civil rights in full compliance with international humanitarian law. We reiterated the need to gain unhindered access to non-government-controlled territories for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We stressed the importance of carrying out demining activities in new areas as well and called on Russia to engage constructively in this issue within the TCG. We welcomed the establishment of a Mine Action Center to tackle the contamination of mines and ammunition that did not explode, and took note of Ukraine’s request for EU assistance for mine clearance. The EU confirmed its readiness to further support Ukraine’s inclusive approach to its own citizens in the affected areas and to play a leading role in the reconstruction of the country, including certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions after the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
  9. We underlined our full support for all efforts to establish truth, justice, and accountability towards the 298 victims and their close relatives for the downing of Flight MH17. In this regard, we urged the Russian Federation to continue trilateral negotiations between Australia, the Netherlands, and the Russian Federation on the downing of flight MH17, admit responsibility and make every effort to bring those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 to justice.

 

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