Distinguished colleagues, fellow Ukrainians.
Today, on May 9, we are celebrating Europe Day for the first time together with the EU countries. As is appropriate for a country that shares European values, principles of freedom and respect.
Europe is not about a territorial unit. Europe is an idea. The idea of peace, justice and equal rights. The idea that has become a reality.
Ukraine and Ukrainians are an integral part of this European civilisation, Europe from Lisbon to Luhansk, from Helsinki to Sevastopol. A peaceful, strong and self-reliant Europe with Ukraine taking its equal place. This is the idea that we are turning into reality.
We believe in the common future of European nations. Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the EU, was quoted as saying "there is no future for the people of Europe other than in union". And Ukraine's advancement towards the European Union has no alternative.
We set ambitious goals: to gear up to join the European Union in two years. The task is complex and challenging. We are currently analysing 29,000 EU legal documents that should become part of our laws. This year, we expect to receive a political decision from the European Union to start accession negotiations. At the same time, we continue to integrate into the EU internal market. We have succeeded in agreeing to extend the "transport" and "economic" visa-free regimes with the EU for another year.
Since the beginning of russia's full-scale invasion, the EU has been the major donor to Ukraine's budget. EU member states and its institutions have provided USD 20 billion to support Ukraine's economic and financial stability. The military assistance of European countries helps us to deter the russian invader. Ten packages of EU sanctions against russia have already made it much more difficult for the kremlin regime to finance this aggression. And we count on the continuation of this sanctions policy.
We are grateful to our European friends and allies for their humanitarian assistance. For sheltering millions of Ukrainian families. We are grateful for all the steps of solidarity and support. Indeed, Ukraine's victory is Europe's victory.
Today's agenda of the Government meeting features important decisions in the areas of recovery, increased transparency of procurement and social support.
The Government is attracting another grant of over UAH 350 million to strengthen and restore the Ukrainian healthcare system. This is the Heal Ukraine project, that we are implementing together with the World Bank Group. These funds will help us rebuild destroyed hospitals and purchase new equipment. An important element of the programme is to improve the efficiency of medical services in the de-occupied territories, including equipping hospitals with alternative power sources.
The second important decision relates to the transparency of the state and public procurement. We continue to change our approach to defence procurement. We are looking for the right balance between the restrictions of wartime and openness for the public.
Defence procurement during martial law will be divided into two groups. The first group includes weapons, equipment and other items for defence purposes. Information about these purchases will remain confidential. The second group includes, for example, food for our army. From now on, the customer will publish an announcement about such a procurement in advance, and this announcement will contain information on the estimated volumes, terms and conditions of delivery. Moreover, reports on the procurement if it was concluded without an electronic system will also be published in the electronic system.
Today the Government also launches the creation of Support Coordination Centres for civilians during the war. Such Centres will be organised under regional state or military administrations to provide additional assistance to Ukrainians in addressing issues of social protection, housing and employment, medical and legal assistance. This will also allow for better coordination of the work of the executive branch, law enforcement, local authorities, volunteer and public associations, and international humanitarian organisations.
And finally. Government embarks on a new project in the field of organising rehabilitation and recreation for children in need of special social attention and support. We are introducing the principle "money follows the child". That is, children's recreation and rehabilitation centres will receive funds for the recreation of each particular child. In turn, children and their families will have the choice of where to spend their holidays. Now such approach will be introduced for the rehabilitation and recreation of children with disabilities, children from large and low-income families registered in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv regions. In total, 25,000 children in need of special social support will be provided with recreation and leisure services this year.
We continue to implement the principles of targeted assistance and support for those who need it most. We remain strong. We remain united.
Thank you for your attention. Glory to Ukraine!