The European Union expresses readiness to propose a package of projects for the development of Ukrainian Pryazovya (the areas of the Azov Sea region) and will try to implement them as soon as possible. Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said this during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman. The meeting took place in Kyiv. Already tomorrow, March 1, the Vice-President will visit Berdyansk and will assess the situation in the region on the spot and determine the most sought after directions of cooperation.
"We support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Tomorrow I will visit Berdyansk and I will be able to see the consequences of blocking the Kerch Strait. We will see how we can help the region to mitigate the effects of all the recent events", stressed Valdis Dombrovskis.
"I want to thank for the initiative to visit Berdyansk and see the developments there. For us, it is vital to ensure the industrial and infrastructure development of the region and the connection of Ukrainian cities and the Azov Sea with the entire world. We are interested in implementing such projects", said Volodymyr Groysman in response.
As part of the talks, the parties touched upon the progress of reforms in Ukraine and the further implementation of the fourth program of macro-financial assistance. The first tranche of the program was disbursed to Ukraine in December last year. And now on the agenda is to take measures to meet the requirements for receiving the second tranche of EUR 500 million.
"We see that the work is underway in all areas. I am convinced that if we maintain this dynamics of development, we will get results in the future. We will further cooperate with Ukraine within the framework of the Association Agreement and we praise the decision to consolidate the European integration course in the Constitution of Ukraine. We will work closely in the future", Valdis Dombrovskis stressed.
In December 2018, during a visit to Brussels Prime Minister of Ukraine aired a proposal to the leadership of the European Union to launch programs of targeted support for the Ukrainian Pryazovya in the framework of a sanctions policy against the aggressor country, as well as the restoration of free navigation in the region and development of Berdyansk and Mariupol ports. This proposal was voiced following an attack on Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov, seizure of Ukrainian sailors and cases of blocking the freedom by the Russian fleet in the Kerch Strait.
The Head of Government had earlier stressed that escalation of the situation in the Sea of Azov must be stopped and in this regard he proposed the EU to impose tit-for-tat sanctions against Russian ports in the Azov Sea and ships under the Russian flag in the international ports. As a result, the European Union approved another package of sanctions against the aggressor and in late January a high-level group of European Union officials visited the Ukrainian Pryazovya.