Ukraine’s victory is Europe’s victory. Ukraine’s success is Europe’s success. This applies both to victory in the war against russia and to Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. This was emphasised by Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal during a briefing following his meeting with High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell.
Denys Shmyhal welcomed the decision to start preparing the European Commission’s negotiating framework and to conduct an official screening of Ukrainian legislation for compliance with the European one. He also welcomed the approval of the Ukraine Facility, a financial instrument that would provide EUR 50 billion in assistance to Ukraine.
“We also greatly appreciate the EU’s military assistance to Ukraine. The European defence industry is increasing its capacities and I am confident that we will soon feel the effects. Indeed, accelerating the supply of artillery ammunition to Ukraine is one of the key priorities now,” the Prime Minister stressed.
The Head of Ukrainian Government also expressed hope that a decision on the establishment of the Ukraine Assistance Fund under the EPF would be taken soon.
Denys Shmyhal and Josep Borrell also discussed the creation of joint defence enterprises and the strengthening of sanctions against russia. The Prime Minister noted that Ukraine expected the adoption of the 13th sanctions package this month.
“We welcome the EU’s efforts to pave the way for the use of the proceeds of these frozen russian assets. We also welcome the European Commission’s important initiative to confiscate the proceeds of crime resulting from the violation of EU sanctions. However, we continue to emphasise that the use of the proceeds of frozen assets is only the first intermediate step,” the Prime Minister said.
At the same time, he stressed that it was time to create a legal mechanism that would allow for the confiscation of frozen russian assets, including the sovereign assets of the Central Bank of the russian federation, and direct them to the needs of Ukraine.
Denys Shmyhal also welcomed the European Commission’s decision to extend the full elimination of duties on Ukrainian products until June 2025. Together with the Association Agreement, this decision would provide Ukraine with the so-called “economic visa-free regime”, he said.
“Not only do we expect this initiative to be quickly approved by all EU institutions, but we also believe it is important to enshrine such a completely free trade regime in the Association Agreement itself. This is one of the main areas of our work this year in trade relations with the European Union,” the Head of Government stressed.
He added that it was also crucial for Ukraine to extend the agreement with the EU on the carriage of freight by road.
Josep Borrell, for his part, stressed that Ukraine remained a top priority for the European Union. He added that the EU should provide Ukraine with whatever it takes to win. At the same time, the EU High Representative announced that Ukraine would be provided with 1 million of the ammunition it needed by the end of the year.
The parties also agreed to hold the next meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council in March this year.