President of Ukraine

Ihor Zhovkva: The 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit was one of the most successful in the history of our country's relations with the European Union

12 October 2021 - 19:56

The 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit held in Kyiv on October 12 with the participation of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen was an important stage in developing political dialogue and deepening integration between our country and the European Union. This was stated by Deputy Head of the Office of the President Ihor Zhovkva.

"The European Union is developing, Ukraine is developing, our relations are becoming more ambitious, and accordingly, the results of our negotiations and plans for the future are increasing," he said, commenting on the results of the meeting.

The Deputy Head of the Office of the President focused on the Joint Statement, which was adopted by the President of Ukraine and the heads of European institutions following the Summit. The statement consists of 25 items and contains key achievements and agreements of the parties. Such volume of the document testifies to an increasingly broader and comprehensive bilateral agenda between Ukraine and the European Union, Ihor Zhovkva is convinced.

He singled out three main blocks of the Joint Statement: foreign policy, economy and reform implementation.

The economic block of the document records achievements in the field of economy and outlines further prospects. In particular, Ukraine will begin even deeper integration into the EU internal market. According to Ihor Zhovkva, there have been no such provisions in the joint statements of Ukraine and the EU so far.

"It is very typical that this provision appeared in the paragraph on European aspirations and Ukraine's European choice - we have not had such a combination before," he added.

In addition, the document notes the success of Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agreement and integration with the European market, as well as further plans - for example, the agreement on "industrial visa-free regime". The parties agreed to complete the second phase of the mission on preliminary assessment of the quality of the Ukrainian infrastructure as soon as possible in order to start official negotiations next year, said Ihor Zhovkva.

In the political part of the Joint Statement, much attention is paid to the issue of security - it is addressed in as many as seven points in the document. According to Ihor Zhovkva, along with the traditional signals of the EU's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, it is clearly stated that Russia is a party to the conflict in Donbas. The need for the deoccupation of Crimea was also clearly supported, and support for the Crimea Platform and the declaration approved by the EU member states was confirmed.

In addition, according to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, the EU is currently considering the possibility of launching an EU military advisory and training mission in Ukraine with the support of the Lithuanian side.

"Given that 2022 has been designated the year of European defense in the EU, the leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation and dialogue in this area, given that the security of the whole Europe depends on the security of Ukraine," he said.

In the issue of implementing reforms in Ukraine, the European Union has clearly supported judicial reform and the laws adopted to implement it. In addition, the success of the Head of State in anti-corruption policy was noted. The European Union also noted the efforts of the President of Ukraine towards de-oligarchization, commended the adoption of the relevant legislation and noted the need for its full implementation.

Also, according to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, an important topic of the Ukraine-EU Summit was the energy security of Europe.

"At a time when Russia is using gas as a weapon, we could not help but talk about it during the Summit and stipulate it in the Joint Statement," said Ihor Zhovkva.

According to him, the document clearly states that Russia has no right to use gas as a weapon against Ukraine. The EU has once again supported guarantees of gas transit through our country after 2024. It was also made clear that any new gas pipelines must meet the requirements of the EU's Third Energy Package.

"It is very important that both in the Joint Statement and following the Summit the parties agreed to launch a high-level dialogue on energy issues. This means that Ukraine will be involved in a dialogue with all EU member states, and not only on gas issues," Ihor Zhovkva stressed.

According to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, during the Summit, in particular, the potential unification of energy systems of Ukraine and the EU, scheduled for 2023, was discussed. It was also agreed to start a strategic dialogue on promising areas for the development of renewable energy sources and the use of Ukrainian gas storage facilities.

The participants of the meeting paid a lot of attention to the issue of the digital economy. Ukraine's integration into the European Union's digital market was positively noted.

In general, according to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, we can say that the results that Ukraine had sought have been achieved: the achievements of our state have been recorded and further steps have been identified.

"Today, the achievements are significant, but during the Summit several important projects have been identified, which we will implement and a report on their implementation will be discussed during the next Summit," said Ihor Zhovkva.

Following the completion of the Agreement between Ukraine and the EU on the Common Aviation Area, which was signed during this year's Summit, the main topic of negotiations in the field of infrastructure was the liberalization of road transport and joint projects in the field of transport aviation.

In addition, according to the Deputy Head of the President's Office, important agreements have been concluded, including Ukraine's participation in Horizon Europe, which supports science and innovation, and Creative Europe to support Ukrainian writers, directors, musicians, journalists and more.

"In general, the 23rd Summit was a joint success of Ukraine and the European Union. Today, important results were summed up and priorities for the next year were set," Ihor Zhovkva emphasized.