EU sanctions against Russia to be in effect until full implementation of Minsk agreements – Borrell
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell assures that the European Union is unwavering in its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and intends to continue to apply economic sanctions against Russia until the Minsk agreements are implemented.
"I reassure the Prime Minister [of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal] with European Union's unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine's independency, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. This is a message that I also pass in my meeting last week to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov including the need to fulfill and implement the Minsk Agreements," Borrell said following the meeting of the seventh EU-Ukraine Association Council, which took place on Thursday in Brussels.
He recalled that the EU does not recognize Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.
"We will continue to fully support the diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will continue to support the efforts in the Normandy Four format, the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE format. The duration of our economic sanctions against Russia remains linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements," the High Representative of the European Union said.
Borrell noted that the partnership with Ukraine for the EU "is strategically important" and "is very significant to us."
"It reflects the wide range of areas of our cooperation as well as frequency of our exchanges. The Association Agreement is more wide reaching than any other Agreement the European Union has with any of our other partners. And it has delivered much for Ukrainian citizens and also for us. Today, we have reaffirmed our mutual commitments to strengthening the political association and the economic integration. In our exchanges, I underlined the European Union's solidarity with Ukrainian people in face of the coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic," he said.
At the same time, he recalled that the European Union has already provided the significant overall financial assistance to Ukraine. "We are talking about EUR 16 billion since 2014, and we are already helping Ukraine to gain access to vaccine through COVAX. And we are also exploring ways to further support Ukraine through a vaccine mechanism at the European Union level," the High Representative of the European Union said.