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  • Olha Stefanishyna: Ukraine’s resilience would not have been possible without timely EU decisions that ensured the survival of the economy during the war
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 25 March 2024 21:01

    Ukraine’s resilience should not be taken for granted – we expect our European partners to continue the measures taken to ensure the survival of the Ukrainian economy. This was emphasised by Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, in her speech at the event “Two years of large-scale war: Transformation of Ukraine – Security of Europe”, organised by the Robert Schuman Foundation in Paris.

    In particular, Olha Stefanishyna noted the key role of France in building a strategic vision of a European defence pillar involving Ukraine to ensure stability and peace throughout the European continent.

    “Ukraine continues its struggle. From the first minute of the full-scale invasion, all Ukrainian institutions, the economy, remained capable and able to withstand the challenges of war, and we continue to do so every day. Our resilience, admired by the whole world since the beginning of the war, was also made possible by the bold and timely decisions of European leaders to grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate and later to start accession negotiations. The unity of the whole of Europe in support of Ukraine helped us to ensure that all the key political and democratic transformations that our country has gone through will be preserved and continued, and that our economy will be able to function even in such difficult conditions. We are grateful to our European partners, and France in particular, for their determination and leadership in this matter,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    Olha Stefanishyna stressed that even in the midst of a full-scale war, Ukraine had managed to implement systemic reforms, particularly in the areas of the rule of law and the fight against corruption. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the start of direct negotiations on EU accession and the development of a relevant transformation agenda will allow Ukraine to integrate into the EU’s internal market and become an integral part of the European economic family.

    “Despite the extraordinary security challenges, Ukraine has managed to ensure the transit of goods through the Black Sea corridor, develop the Danube transit infrastructure and border infrastructure with neighbouring countries. All of this is possible because we have the necessary tools, including the military, to ensure proper protection of transit corridors, as well as tariff and transport liberalisation, which has been a key tool for Ukraine’s survival. All of these tools remain vital for the Ukrainian economy in times of war,” said Olha Stefanishyna.

    She emphasised that it was urgent for the EU to make decisions on trade liberalisation and access of Ukrainian goods to European markets. “I hope that the relevant decisions to extend these measures will be supported by France and other member states, as it is necessary for our existence,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.