The European Union welcomed Ukraine's reform efforts, as reads the European Parliament's report on the implementation of the Association Agreement with Ukraine. Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal stated at the Verkhovna Rada during A Question Time for the Government on February 19.
Denys Shmyhal stressed that despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the high-level meetings on February 9-12 this year had shown that the Ukraine-EU agenda is becoming more ambitious and hectic.
"Without exaggeration, the Seventh Meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council has become a milestone in bilateral relations, as well as an important stage in the implementation of the agreements of the 22nd Ukraine-EU summit," the Prime Minister said.
According to the Prime Minister, during the working visit to Brussels, Ukraine’s European perspective was clearly outlined in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union, emphasizing the need to intensify efforts to strengthen the rule of law and ensure independence and effective functioning of anti-corruption institutions.
"In the global context, we have managed to outline common points for further progress towards accelerated European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. As well as further joint steps, first of all, in terms of integration into the EU internal market and deepening sectoral integration," said Denys Shmyhal.
Among the significant results of the visit, the Prime Minister noted the readiness of the EU to launch consultations on further review of trade liberalization within the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as provided for in the Association Agreement. In particular, an agreement was reached on further liberalization in terms of increasing quotas for Ukrainian products.
We are one step closer to the so-called "industrial visa-free regime". The EU mission has already begun assessing Ukraine's readiness to sign the agreement. This will provide ample trade opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses that will get the opportunity to sell their goods in EU markets. We are counting on significant progress this year in order to receive recommendations and sign the agreement as soon as possible," the Prime Minister said.
According to Denys Shmyhal, it was agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of the achievement of the Agreement's goals in 2021 and to present the results of the relevant work at the 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit by each party.
"The Seventh Meeting of the Association Council also reaffirmed the EU's unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. EU leaders unanimously confirmed support for Ukraine in the conflict with the Russian Federation, as well as assured of the fact that sanctions would prolong as long as Russia violates Ukraine's territorial integrity," the Prime Minister stressed.
Apart from that, the Head of Government stressed that the European Union had supported the idea of creating a "Crimean Platform" and thanked member states for their unwavering policy of non-recognition of the occupation of the Crimean peninsula.