EU supports Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity, reform process
The EU Foreign Affairs Council has discussed the EU's relations with Ukraine, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has said.
"We then had a point on Ukraine - a very important discussion, also in view of our strong non-recognition policy of the annexation of Crimea. And we discussed, in particular, the two tracks that I have also expressed to the President [of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko], the Prime Minister [of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman] and the Foreign Minister [of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin] in Kyiv last week," she said at a press conference in Brussels on Monday, March 19, after a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
"First of all, our support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and our full commitment to support and help on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Secondly, but not less importantly, our support to the reform process inside Ukraine," Mogherini said.
She said that she had discussed this approach with the foreign ministers and that they had fully agreed with such EU policy towards Ukraine.
Speaking about the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Mogherini noted a 30% increase in Ukraine's exports to the EU countries. She said that these were "concrete benefits for the people of Ukraine" from cooperation with the EU.
When asked about the discussion of EU support for reform in Ukraine, she said that the EU Foreign Affairs Council had noted the implementation of a number of reforms in Ukraine, but added that "we would like to see more determination."
According to her, the EU understands that encouraging reforms is one thing, but doing reforms back home is a different thing, and "it is more difficult especially in a country that is facing a conflict on its own territory and that is entering an electoral year."
"But still, we expressed - and I personally expressed very openly both to the President [of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko] and the Prime Minister of Ukraine [Volodymyr Groysman] the need that especially the anti-corruption work continues with the establishment of a High Anti-Corruption Court, with the lifting of the necessity for NGOs and civil activists to do the e-declaration and several other steps that we see are necessary to consolidate reforms that are not needed for the European Union, but are needed and asked for by the Ukrainian citizens," Mogherini said.
"This is also a way to invest in the Ukrainian resilience, because the stronger results Ukrainian citizens will see in the fields of anti-corruption, rule of law, in the economic development of the country, the stronger the institutions will be in the face of the conflict in the east," Mogherini added.
She confirmed EU support for reforms in Ukraine and recalled that the Ukraine Reform Conference would be held in Copenhagen on June 27.