EU reaffirms strong support for Ukraine
(BRUSSELS) - The EU reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity Monday, reiterating its refusal to recognise the "illegal annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol" by the Russian Federation.
In a statement, the Association Council reaffirmed the close and comprehensive partnership between the EU and Ukraine "based on common values of democracy, rule of law and human rights".
The Association Council discussed relations between the EU and Ukraine, specifically on political dialogue and reform, political association; justice, freedom and security; and economic and sectoral cooperation, as well as trade and trade-related matters,
At the meeting, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini praised Ukraine government efforts to restore confidence in the financial sector by nationalising PrivatBank, Ukraine's biggest commercial bank: "This step should help ensure that all banks in Ukraine are held to the same prudential regulatory standards, making the banking sector stronger and more resilient", she said. "It is also a vital component of larger reform efforts that the European Union together with international partners supports strongly."
Ukraine's First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv headed the Ukrainian delegation, which also discussed developments related to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including efforts towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
At the plenary meeting, the EU and Ukraine signed the following agreements:
- a financing agreement governing the European Commission support to Ukraine's public administration reform worth €104 million (as part of a larger package totalling € 300 million)
- four agreements confirming Ukraine's participation in EU-funded cross-border cooperation, in the shape of new programmes involving Romania-Ukraine, Poland-Belarus-Ukraine, Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine, and the Black Sea region.
The EU also continues to assist the reform process through the support group for Ukraine, as well as through the EU Advisory Mission in Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), which supports security sector reform. The EU increased its budget for the mission for the period from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017 by 17.7%, reaching €20.8 million.