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EU pledges support to Ukraine at summit

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EU pledges support to Ukraine at summit

Poroshenko - Tusk - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - EU leaders gave Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko full support at a summit Thursday at which they cemented a deal on visa-free travel and praised the country's reform effort.

The summit was an opportunity for leaders to discuss the latest developments in their bilateral relations, as well as reforms and visas.

EU President Donald Tusk praised the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to implement large-scale reforms in difficult conditions: "Ukraine's success will be the success of all of Europe," he said.

The November summit confirmed a further EUR 104 million in support for public administration reform. The representatives of the EU and Ukraine also signed a financing agreement 'EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine' (EUR 15 million support), and a Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership between the EU and Ukraine.

The energy agreement will broaden the cooperation in all areas, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as aim to create more certainty for investors. Up until now cooperation focused mainly on energy security, nuclear safety, infrastructure and market reforms.

The summit was an occasion to welcome recent steps towards visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU and vice versa. On 17 November the Council agreed its position, demonstrating its commitments to visa-liberalisation for Ukraine, ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament.

"I am happy that all EU Member States decided Ukraine is ready for a visa-free regime. This decision is a recognition of Ukraine's achievements in meeting European standards," said Mr Tusk.

On the problems with the Russian regime, Mr Tusk vowed that Europe would do "everything in its power to make sure that Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and stability are preserved."

EU-Ukraine summit, Brussels, 24/11/2016

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