President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a phone conversation with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The conversation focused on countering the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and uniting the efforts of European countries to provide the population with broad access to high-quality certified vaccines.
"Ukraine has recently come out of the lockdown. We register up to five thousand patients daily, which is almost three times less than before quarantine. Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic remains a great challenge both for Ukraine and for the whole world,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of Ukraine expressed gratitude for the initiative of the European Union to establish a mechanism for the transfer of the vaccine to partner countries.
"The supply of vaccines is a matter not only of the health and life of Ukrainians, but also of politics and geopolitics," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also informed the interlocutor that the vaccines allocated within the COVAX fund will not be enough to vaccinate the critically needed amount of population in 2021. In this regard, he called for more active involvement of the European Commission in Ukraine's negotiation process with manufacturers.
"Ukrainians do not differ from Europeans in their desire to be healthy. Accelerating the supply of vaccines can be a strong signal that the European Union is pleased to see Ukraine at the same table not only when everything is fine, but also in difficult situations," the President of Ukraine noted.
Ursula von der Leyen stressed that during 2021, both the European Union and neighboring countries would receive sufficient doses of the vaccine.
"Now the whole world is experiencing an unprecedented wave of simultaneous vaccination," the President of the European Commission said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the European Union for providing Ukraine with the first tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of 600 million euros, which took place in December 2020.
"This helped maintain our macro-financial stability," the Ukrainian President said.
According to the President of the European Commission, the EU is working to ensure that Ukraine receives the second part of the tranche as soon as possible - 600 million euros.
The parties discussed the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to implement anticorruption reforms. Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed Ursula von der Leyen about the beginning of the reform of the Security Service of Ukraine, the establishment of the Bureau of Economic Security, and the increase of responsibility for false income declaration.
The President of the European Commission thanked the President of Ukraine for his personal efforts in implementing the anticorruption policy.
In the context of the development of bilateral relations, Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ursula von der Leyen for her letter prepared jointly with President of the European Council Charles Michel in furtherance of the agreements reached following the Ukraine-EU Summit in October 2020. He also stressed the importance of the next meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council, which will take place in early February in Brussels. The Ukrainian party expects that during the event a dialogue will be launched to update the parameters of the free trade area and enhance the sectoral provisions of the Association Agreement.
Particular attention was paid to the signing of the Agreement on the Common Aviation Area between the European Union and Ukraine. The President of Ukraine expressed hope that the EU would complete work on the document in the near future. The conclusion of this important agreement is in the common interest of Ukraine and the European Union.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also informed Ursula von der Leyen in detail about the initiative to launch the Crimean Platform and invited her to take part in the constituent summit that will take place in August 2021 in Kyiv.