On December 3, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze met with Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Marija Pejčinović Burić. The meeting took place within the framework of the Summit of the Heads of Government of the Central European Initiative which is being held in Zagreb (the Republic of Croatia).
During the meeting, the Vice Prime Minister thanked the Croatian counterpart for not recognizing the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea, as well as for the continuation of sectoral and economic sanctions against Russia.
"The ongoing military actions of Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine is the only source of escalation. Ukraine is committed to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas. Our position remains unchanged: the only way to resolve the conflict is a full implementation of the Minsk agreements, " Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed.
She placed a special emphasis on the fact that Ukraine now has a new front of escalation of the conflict with Russia - in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In this regard, the Ukrainian side hopes to preserve and even strengthen the EU sanctions against the Kremlin as the only effective peaceful instrument of influence on Russia. In addition, Kyiv is counting on Croatia's support for the deployment of UN peacekeepers on the territory of Donbas.
"The international community should strengthen its presence in the conflict zone in Donbass. The powers of the current OSCE monitoring mission are too weak, and are unlikely to be an instrument of influence on the aggressor. Ukraine believes that the most effective way of guaranteeing the implementation of the Minsk agreements is the new UN peacekeeping mission in the temporarily occupied territory. We call on Croatia to support our position at the international level ", " Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze underscored.
She also noted that Ukraine is counting on Croatia's support during the meeting of the Association Council which is scheduled for December 17 on the issue of further sectoral integration of Ukraine in four priority areas (integration into the digital and energy markets of the EU, simplification of customs procedures, as well as in the field of justice, freedom and security). The parties discussed the progress of reforms in Ukraine and the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Marija Pejčinović Burić commended Ukraine's progress in an anticorruption sphere, in particular, on the creation and launch of the Anticorruption Court.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze thanked the Croatian side for rehabilitation of Ukrainian children and expressed her hope for a restoration program for the treatment and rehabilitation of Ukrainian military personnel in Croatian health facilities. The Vice Prime Minister informed her Croatian counterpart on the creation of the Ministry for Veterans Affairs in Ukraine and expressed interest in applying the best practices of Croatia in this area. "This may be a new promising direction of cooperation,"she added.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia supported this initiative and expressed readiness to help to create conditions for the exchange of experience between Ukrainian and Croatian sides.
Marija Pejčinović Burić assured that Croatia has a staunchest support of Ukraine at all international platforms such as the UN, NATO, OSCE, as well as among European partners in the EU Council. "Croatia is aware of the dangerous consequences of Russia's aggressive actions for the entire region. We will not keep silence when international law is violated, " the Croatian Foreign Minister said.