Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze met with EU Commissioner for the European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn in Zagreb (Croatia).
The parties discussed a number of issues pertaining to the Ukraine-EU dialogue. First of all, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze informed about a new act of Russian armed aggression in the Black Sea area, which, besides, can trigger a significant deterioration of the socio-economic situation in Mariupol and Berdyansk. According to her, the forced capture of three Ukrainian ships by Russian troops is a classic act of Kremlin’s military aggression against Ukraine, which resulted in wounding six Ukrainian soldiers, and 24 captured.
"Russia has opened a third front in war on Ukraine, crudely violating international law, according to which Ukrainian sailors are prisoners of war, their arrest by Russians and the charges for supposed breaking of the Russian border are absolutely unacceptable," the Vice Prime Minister stressed.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze added that, according to the information provided by intelligence service, a week ago there was a threat of capture of Mariupol. Given these circumstances, the decision to impose a martial law for 30 days in 10 regions of Ukraine was taken. "The martial law is not a declaration of war. Political and diplomatic means are crucial for resolving the situation in Azov, but in case of another aggression of Russia, we are ready to use all available tools to protect our land, " she emphasized.
The Vice Prime Minister noted that Ukraine praises the EU position on the condemnation of the use of force by Russia. "We are counting on the further specific steps of our European partners to influence the aggressor, I hope that in December the European Council will adopt a unanimous political decision to apply sectoral sanctions for another 6 months," Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed.
In turn, the European Commissioner Johannes Hahn proposed to work together to explore the possibility of attracting European assistance for the development of logistics infrastructure in the Sea of Azov that will contribute to the economic strengthening of the region.
The parties also discussed the reform process, anticorruption policy (the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court and the work of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention), as well as preparations for the meeting of the Association Council scheduled for December 17. The Vice Prime Minister stressed that Ukraine counts on clear European Union political support for deepening of sectoral integration in the identified 4 priority areas under the current Association Agreement (integration into the digital and energy markets, simplification of customs procedures and deepening of cooperation in the field of justice , freedom and security).
The sides expressed their hope that the EU-Ukraine agreement on a common aviation space will soon be unblocked.
The Vice Prime Minister thanked the European partners for allocating the first tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. "We welcome the decision of the European Commission to allocate the first tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. In the short term, we have made significant efforts to meet the requirements for providing assistance. On November 21, the Government endorsed two decisions allowing automated information exchange between the National Agency on Corruption Prevention and all registries, access to which does not require legislative changes ", she emphasized.
Touching upon the reform process in Ukraine, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed that amid the pre-election period the Government is committed to continuing an ambitious reform agenda.