Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak emphasizes that today Ukraine needs the unity of Europe in supporting our country, in particular on its path to membership in the European Union, and imposing more effective sanctions on Russia, especially the oil embargo. He said this during an online conversation with representatives of the European Policy Centre.
Andriy Yermak reminded that on the initiative of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy he had gathered leading international experts (Yermak-McFaul group) to work out recommendations on effective long-term sanctions on Russia. They have developed an Action Plan to strengthen sanctions. Its main point is a complete embargo on Russian energy - the main source of funding for the Russian army.
On May 9, the expert group presented a Roadmap, a step-by-step strategy with detailed recommendations for the EU on energy sanctions, which contains clear proposals to minimize Russia's oil revenues during the transition period and ensure a managed phased embargo on Russian gas imports.
The Head of the President's Office stressed that Ukraine and the Yermak-McFaul group commend the European Commission's decision to impose a total ban on Russian oil imports. He noted that Europe should be united in the issue of the oil embargo.
According to Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian authorities are constantly in contact with European partners, the EU leadership, and all proposals of the Ukrainian side are taken into account, and their effect will be seen in the results.
The Head of the President's Office is also convinced that both a strong sanctions policy and Ukraine's accession to the EU are a matter of mutual security - for our country and the whole of Europe, although not all European capitals are aware of this.
"For us, the proposal on “alternatives to European integration” is unacceptable. We believe that it creates the same illusion of an open door as in the case of NATO," he said.
According to Andriy Yermak, Ukraine today deserves special unprecedented mechanisms for EU membership. The Head of the President's Office believes that in June our country must receive the status of a candidate for EU membership, because otherwise it will be an extremely negative and incorrect signal.
"Today, our country, being neither a member of NATO nor a member of the EU, has been repelling one of the world's most powerful armies for so many days. And today, the European Union and NATO must finally understand that as much as Ukraine needs the EU and NATO, so much does NATO and the EU need Ukraine. I believe that without Ukraine today, neither the European Union nor NATO will be strong," he said.
Andriy Yermak is convinced that Ukraine will become one of the founders and leaders of the new security system to be created after this war.
"And we want to do it together with our European friends," said the Head of the President's Office.