The European Union sticks to consistent approach to annexation of Crimea, does not tolerate aggression in the Sea of Azov and will not drop the sanctions policy against the aggressor until Russia fully implements its obligations to recognize and enforce international law. This was stated during a meeting of Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman and President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
The meeting was held shortly after the session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Russian armed aggression. Donald Tusk also took part in the meeting. The President of the European Council from the rostrum of the Ukrainian Parliament and in the House of Government assured that there can be no Europe without Ukraine. And the lesson of courage and commitment to true democratic values that Ukrainians demonstrated five years ago changed everyone.
The sides acknowledged that today Ukraine is still facing aggression. Russia continues to supply weapons and equipment through a temporarily uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border, the terms of the "Christmas" truce are constantly being violated. However, the liberation of Donbas can only be achieved through political and diplomatic means. In this regard, the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas is an important element.
"We are also grateful to the EU for a high-level group of European Union officials that visited regions adjacent to the Azov Sea at the end of January this year. I am confident that the results of the visit will be the implementation of new projects in many areas", Volodymyr Groysman said.
The Head of Government assured the President of the European Council of irreversibility of the reform course – despite of external threats and upcoming elections. Changes in the system of state governance and decentralization, approval of the necessary legislation for the launch of the High Anti-Corruption Court, economic transformations and active implementation of the provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union have already become fundamental for Ukraine. The issues related to deep integration into the European energy and digital space, preserving Ukraine’s transit role, including in the context of gas supplies are on the table.
"Our common objectives are further promotion of mutual trade, elimination of non-tariff barriers and simplification of customs procedures, as well as deepening of the dialogue in the area of justice, freedom and security. Cooperation in the field of integrated border management, cyber security, countering hybrid threats, reacting to misinformation and interfering in the elections are incredibly important", Volodymyr Groysman underscored.