On Thursday, July 23, during a working visit to Brussels, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal met with the High Representative of the European Union/Vice-President of EU Commission Josep Borrell.
The parties discussed the holding of the Ukraine-EU Summit, improvement of the Association Agreement regarding the free trade zone, the situation in the east of Ukraine and in the occupied Crimea.
The Prime Minister noted that the Ukrainian side looks forward to the effective holding of the Twenty-second EU-Ukraine Summit on October 1 in Brussels and hopes for support in advancing key decisions.
"A number of aspects of today require updating the parameters of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and supplementing it with new elements of sectoral cooperation. That is why making appropriate changes to the trade part of the Agreement is a key priority of the Government in the short term," said Denys Shmyhal.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that on the results of the Summit and the meeting of the Association Council in December the parties will have an opportunity to jointly formulate new ambitious objectives of bilateral cooperation and intensify the process of Ukraine’s integration with the EU.
Among the topics raised during the meeting was the security situation in Donbas and the issue of deoccupation of Crimea.
"The EU Advisory Mission has made a significant contribution to strengthening the civilian security sector. We are looking forward to the opening of the EUAM regional office in Mariupol," said the Prime Minister.
According to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has finalized the concept of creating a special international format for Crimea - the International Platform "Crimea is Ukraine": "At the first stage it will be a consultative and coordination format. However, in the future we do not exclude that it will be transformed into a negotiation format."
"The platform is expected to cover the whole spectrum of the consequences of the occupation, from the humanitarian to the security dimension. The militarization of Crimea affects the security of Southeast Europe, in particular the Black, Azov and Mediterranean Seas. In addition, it is necessary to improve coordination and increase the effectiveness of the sanctions policy, as well as the international policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea in general," said the Prime Minister.
Denys Shmyhal added that among the key participants of the new platform Ukraine would like to see the states-guarantors of Ukrainian security, in particular the USA, Great Britain and France, Germany as a key participant in the Normandy format, as well as regional partners interested in resolving by Ukraine of the Crimean issue and ending Russia's aggressive policy.
"We also hope this initiative will be supported by the EU, NATO and member states, along with other partners who have demonstrated their support through the introduction of Crimean sanctions packages," the Head of Government said.
Denys Shmyhal thanked the EU for its firm position on Ukraine's territorial integrity and continued support in countering Russian aggression.
In turn, Josep Borrell stressed that the security of Ukraine is the security of Europe, and therefore the European Union will continue active and constructive cooperation with our country.