Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the upper house of the Parliament, has just adopted the decision to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
This path turned out to be long and much harder than we had imagined at the beginning of this process. Why so? Kremlin, contaminated by chronic anti-Ukrainian sentiment, has been hindering every our step. It has used all the available resources: money, propaganda, lies, mischief-making, intelligence structures and groups of influence. Anti-European populist forces inside the European Union have been playing along using the existent bureaucratic hooks and making up new ones. All this had a single purpose – prevent ratification of the Agreement, bury it and, thus, terminate Ukraine’s heading on reunification with our European family.
It is truly a reunification, for historically we have been a part of it… By the way, since the days of Ukrainian Prince Yaroslav the Wise and his daughter Anna Yaroslavna, whom Putin yesterday tried to steal to Russian history in front of the whole Europe.
You all know that the process of ratification has been delayed in the Netherlands on the very homestretch. Our historic agreement faced a real threat. Until the last moment, the entire diplomatic team of the country struggled for the stars on the European sky to be favorable for Ukraine. Our European partners supported and assisted us in this issue.
I am sincerely grateful to my friend Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Government of the Netherlands, the States General and Senate for their support. On behalf of the Ukrainian nation, I am grateful to the Dutch citizens most of whom have not supported the anti-European party during the recent elections delegating the authority to the responsible pro-European forces instead.
After the election in Austria, the Netherlands, France, completion of the ratification of the Association Agreement with Ukraine has cemented positive trends towards consolidation of pro-European forces that had certain problems because of the Dutch referendum and Brexit.
We have gained an important victory together. We have defended the Association Agreement, the path to which had been paved three years ago by the participants of Euromaidan and Revolution of Dignity.
The first year of temporary application of the Agreement demonstrated its high potential for Ukraine. Our export to the EU countries increased by almost a quarter (by 24.5%). Ukraine is gradually integrating into the European policy in many spheres.
Entry into force of the Association Agreement, free trade area and visa-free regime with the EU that will start in exactly 10 days are crucially important on our way to the United Europe.
We are strongly committed to reach our strategic goal. This is the guarantee of our freedom, independence and territorial integrity. Europe is our civilizational choice.
The Netherlands will soon convey the instrument of ratification to Brussels. Then, with its special decision, the Council of the EU will launch the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU at full capacity.
Glory to Europe!
Glory to Ukraine!