Statement of Poland, Denmark, Lithuania and the Netherlands following the visit to Ukraine

2013-04-26, 08:57
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On the 25th of April 2013 the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands and the Minister of European Affairs of Denmark visited Kyiv, Ukraine. They held talks with president Yanukovych and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kozhara. They also met with members of the opposition and representatives of the civil society.

The Ministers appreciated the open and constructive talks with the Ukrainian authorities. They acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and reaffirmed their joint engagement in the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU on the basis of respect for common values and their effective promotion. The Ministers expressed the hope that Ukraine would choose a democratic and reform oriented path, which would allow it to further deepen political and economic relations with the European Union.

The Ministers stated that it is up to the Ukranian people to decide its own destiny. The Ministers reaffirmed the readiness of the EU to sign the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013, provided Ukrainian authorities demonstrate determined action and tangible progress in the areas identified in the Council Conclusions of 10 December 2012. The signature could be accompanied by opening for provisional application of parts of the Agreement.  They made it clear that this Agreement is an ambitious offer of political association and economic integration and that it would benefit Ukraine as well as the European Union. The Ministers acknowledged the significant obligations that Ukraine would undertake by signing the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, in terms of implementation of political, economic and administrative reforms. The Ministers expressed their readiness to support and assist Ukraine in this respect. They also underlined that there is a need to better inform the Ukrainian people of the benefits of closer ties with the EU and agreed to support the Commission and the EEAS in their efforts in this regard.

The Ministers welcomed the pardoning of former Interior Minister Lutsenko and former Environment Minister Filipchuk as an important step to address the concerns regarding the matter of selective justice and look forward to Ukraine addressing without further delay the outstanding case of selective justice and preventing any recurrence of selective justice by a comprehensive judicial reform.

The Ministers acknowledged the progress that was being made by Ukraine so far and look forward to Ukraine’s continued efforts to fully implement the Council Conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and the joint statement of the 25 February 2013 EU-Ukraine Summit. They underlined that new laws should be effectively implemented. The European Commission will assess if sufficient progress has been made by Ukraine in the three areas that were mentioned in the Council Conclusions in order for a signature of the Association Agreement with a DCFTA during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius to become possible. The situation in Ukraine will be closely followed in the run-up to the Summit and the Council will take appropriate decisions on a possible signature of the Agreement in light of further progress towards November.

The Ministers stressed the importance of a broad consensus and consolidated political will by all political forces in Ukraine on the EU integration and signature of the Association Agreement. They noted the role of the Verkhovna Rada in the EU integration and reform process in the view of adoption of necessary legislation related to the implementation of the Association Agenda.

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