On March 28, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Spain to Ukraine Ricardo López-Aranda Jagu.
The parties focused on the agenda of the upcoming Spanish Presidency of the EU Council, which will begin in July 2023. They discussed support for Ukraine’s European integration aspirations, military assistance, and increased sanctions pressure on russia.
“The second half of 2023 is a crucial period for making all possible political decisions ahead of the new political cycle in Europe. Therefore, it is critically important to start negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU by the end of the year,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Olha Stefanishyna informed the Ambassador of the significant amount of work done by Ukraine to implement the seven recommendations of the European Commission, particularly in the areas of rule of law and anti-corruption reforms.
“We have already done a significant amount of homework on implementing the recommendations of the European Commission and we are not going to slow down on this path. Every reform we implement goes far beyond the accession criteria. This is the fundamental basis for Ukraine’s further transformation, including the opportunity to prepare for post-war reconstruction in accordance with EU rules,” Olha Stefanishyna said.
The official also thanked for the European Union’s decision to transfer one million artillery shells to Ukraine within 12 months. She stressed the need to scale up this initiative and expand the discourse on the development of the defence industry in the EU, in which Spain, during its presidency, can play a key role.
Olha Stefanishyna also thanked Spain for its military assistance and stressed the importance of additional restrictions by the EU on the russian military industry, individuals and organisations that finance the russian military-industrial complex, as well as restrictive measures against the top management of rosatom.
“The new wave of sanctions should take into account the fact that there is a personal arrest warrant for putin issued by the International Criminal Court. I think this is a good prerequisite for the introduction of new sanctions and the ambitious 11th package,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
In turn, Ricardo López-Aranda Jagu assured of unwavering support for Ukraine in its countering russian aggression and on its path to joining the European family.
In particular, the Ambassador stressed that Spain, during its presidency of the EU Council, would do everything possible to preserve the unity of the European Union in promoting peace in Ukraine.
The two sides also discussed expectations for the upcoming NATO Summit to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 2023.