Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna held a meeting with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland in an extended format.
The participants discussed the available assistance to Ukraine from the European partners and further priorities. Particular attention was paid to the integration of Ukraine into the EU, as well as the security situation in the context of Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and the implementation of security guarantees in the framework of the Kyiv Security Compact.
The representatives of the European countries noted that the outcome of the war of russia against Ukraine would play an important role for the whole region. They expressed readiness to support Ukraine as long as it is needed. They also stressed the importance of practical implementation of the benefits of the candidate status, the start of negotiations on the enlargement of Ukraine and the need to implement the recommendations of the European Commission in this regard.
Olha Stefanishyna thanked the partners for their assistance, which step by step brings Ukraine's victory closer and, as a priority, called on the EU energy companies to support Ukraine in restoring the damaged infrastructure.
"Ukraine has experienced seven waves of large-scale missile attacks and has already used numerous available tools to recover from the destruction. These attacks have caused significant physical damage, but they can not break the spirit of Ukrainians," said Olha Stefanishyna.
She also added that one of the kremlin's goals is to provoke a new wave of refugees from Ukraine, in particular at the expense of those who have already returned to Ukraine from the EU countries and were in western Ukraine.
The Deputy Prime Minister also stressed the importance of agreeing as soon as possible on a new macro-financial assistance package recently proposed by the European Commission totaling EUR 18 billion for 2023.
The participants of the meeting also had a thorough discussion of the implementation of the European Commission's recommendations, which is a prerequisite for the start of the enlargement negotiations. "We expect that our progress in implementing reforms will contribute to the evaluation by the European Commission in the first half of 2023. It is also important to support political mobilization within the country to carry out ambitious European integration reforms in the future," Olha Stefanishyna said.
In particular, she noted that the competition for the position of the Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau has already begun, and the competition procedures for the High Council of Justice and the High Qualification Commission of Judges are underway. A comprehensive draft law on media has been adopted in the first reading. Also, the draft Law of Ukraine "On National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine" was registered in the Parliament.
Separately, the security issues were discussed during the event. The Deputy Prime Minister stressed the need for an active discussion around the Kyiv Security Compact, the coordination of production processes by partners to provide Ukraine with the necessary weapons. She also underlined the priority of Ukraine's membership in NATO.