The participants of the video conference focused on the issues of fighting the pandemic, overcoming the economic aftereffects, coordinating efforts to open borders, restoring the tourism industry and more.
On Friday, May 15, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal took part in a special virtual meeting of the Heads of Government of the Central European Initiative (CEI) Member States.
The Head of the Ukrainian Government thanked the President of Montenegro, the Executive Secretariat of the Central European Initiative and the WHO Regional Office for Europe for the idea of holding a dedicated meeting on cooperation in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Denys Shmyhal briefed the participants of the meeting about the current epidemic situation in Ukraine and the measures taken by the Ukrainian Government to stop the spread of the infection. Separately, the Head of the Ukrainian Government touched upon the issue of supporting the population and business, that have suffered the most from the pandemic.
"The Government of Ukraine pays special attention to economic stability, preserving of jobs and leveraging investment to the country. We understand that small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of our economy, are affected the most. The President, the Government and the Parliament of Ukraine are working in synergy to ensure the development of programs to support domestic entrepreneurs," stressed the Prime Minister.
Apart from that, Denys Shmyhal thanked international partners for their financial and humanitarian assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and for their help in returning home Ukrainian citizens who stranded overseas through the outbreak of the infection and closure of the borders.
According to him, the financial support provided by the EU will help guarantee the macroeconomic stability of Ukraine, as well as allow the state to release additional resources to protect the public and mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. The Prime Minister also noted that our country, as a responsible member of the international community, provides assistance to those in need.
The Head of the Ukrainian Government assured the participants of the meeting that Ukraine would continue its systemic reforms and emphasized the importance of cooperation between the CEI member states.
"Ukraine is ready to collaborate in scientific exchanges, research and solutions to achieve rapid results in the development of effective medicine against COVID-19 and vaccines to curb the virus," said Denys Shmyhal.
Following the online meeting, the Heads of Government of the Central European Initiative adopted a Joint Statement recognizing the unprecedented challenge for the region of Central and South-Eastern Europe due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants of the meeting thus confirmed the importance of joining efforts and carrying out coordinated actions in the fight against the pandemic, reducing its negative socio-economic consequences in the CEI region.
The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration and sustainable development through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union. It acts as a platform for political dialogue aimed to strengthen the stability and security within the region. It comprises 17 countries (10 EU States) - Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Ukraine.