EU and Ukraine pledge to deepen relations, call on Russia to respect peace deal
Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Ukraine demands full membership in the European Union&# 160;
IN&# 160; the European Union talks about the priorities of the Eastern Partnership and about improving&# 160; relationship with its members
KIEV – The Eastern Partnership is useful for Ukraine if it brings the Ukrainian state closer to membership in the European Union. This was stated on June 18 by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a speech in the format of a video conference of the leaders of the Eastern Partnership.
“The Eastern Partnership should not limit the ambitions of partners. Someone needs a political dialogue, someone needs a strategic partnership with the European Union, who strives for integration into the common market on the basis of the “four freedoms”, and someone, like Ukraine, requires full membership in the European Union, “Volodymyr Zelenskyy said..
According to the press service of the head of the Ukrainian state, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed confidence in the possibility of jointly overcoming challenges, “in particular the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, through deepening integration and increased coordination between countries, and not through political self- isolation and protectionism. “.
“[…] We are facing very difficult tasks: to protect the life and health of citizens, restore interpersonal and business contacts, take the economy out of a crisis trajectory,” said President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Ukrainian President thanked the European Union for its support, including the new € 1.2 billion macro-financial assistance program, “which is important and timely.”.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Ukraine, for its part, also supported its European partners: Ukrainian doctors came to the aid of their Italian colleagues, and Ukrainian planes delivered medical supplies to the EU countries..
On the priorities of the European Union
President of the European Council Charles Michel states that the Eastern Partnership is a priority of the foreign policy of the European Union, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on June 18.
Charles Michel stated that the already existing Association Agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova provide “huge potential” for this..
“The message that we are sending today is very clear – we want to improve these relations, because this partnership is strategic for us,” Charles Michel said in Brussels during a video press conference that took place at the end of the video conference of the leaders of the Eastern Partnership (EaP).
Ukraine and Eastern Partnership
Let us recall that in 2007 Ukraine and the European Union began negotiations on a new Association Agreement, which also provided for the creation of a deep free trade zone. The negotiations were completed in December 2011, and on March 30, 2012 the documents were initialed. However, on November 21, 2013, literally on the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, where the parties could sign the Agreement, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted an order, which suspended preparations for signing documents in the capital of Lithuania..
The suspension of the development of the European integration vector in November 2013 by the administration of former President Viktor Yanukovych provoked protests in Ukrainian society.
The Eastern Partnership is an initiative of the European Union, which aims to develop EU integration ties with six countries of the former USSR: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus.
Eastern Partnership – reach the highest level
Head of International Programs of the Center for Global Studies “Strategy XXI” Vitaly Martynyuk notes that Ukraine is de facto interested in the development of the European integration process in the Eastern Partnership initiatives.
“This is what the leadership of Ukraine is talking about: in the Eastern Partnership it is necessary to create an initiative that has been adopted in the European Union – a process of different speeds. Whoever achieves more must advance further. For example, Ukraine is farther than Belarus has advanced in the processes of European integration, which means that it should be implemented to a greater extent in terms of integration, ”Vitaly Martynyuk says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
Vitaly Martynyuk notes that on the issue of strengthening European integration ties, it is necessary to see and understand the level of implementation of the Association Agreement.
“From the moment of signing – the Association Agreement has not been fulfilled by one hundred percent. But this does not mean that we have a complete failure, this is a flaw. I cannot say that under the rule of President Volodymyr Zelensky, these shortcomings have increased. If we separate the Eastern Partnership and the bilateral level of Ukraine and the EU according to the Agreement, then according to the Eastern Partnership Ukraine has fulfilled almost everything planned in the plans until 2020 “, – Vitaliy Martynyuk notes.
In bilateral relations with the European Union, according to him, there is “a lot” of work against the background of the tasks being fulfilled within the framework of the Eastern Partnership..
Reforms – in theory and practice
Structural reforms in the economy, systematic fight against corruption, rule of law, reform of the security and defense sector. These are the priority tasks that the Ukrainian government must fulfill in the process of European integration, the political scientist believes. Oleg Ponomar.
“Last year in the summer in Toronto there was a big conference on reforms in Ukraine, and the President of Ukraine was there, the final communiqué was signed – to carry out these reforms and transformations,” Oleg Ponomar tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
In practice, he said, the situation looks different..
“Of the structural reforms, it was possible to pass a law in the banking sector and a curtailed law on the land market. That’s all. Literally today, we see the trial of the fifth president, Petro Poroshenko, and today the US Embassy announced that selective prosecution for political reasons is unacceptable in Ukraine. This is a good example of how Ukraine is advancing on the rule of law, ”emphasizes Oleg Ponomar.
He believes that in the West Ukraine’s partners have doubts about whether Ukraine is ready “to make confident European integration steps and receive preferences in fact”?
“There is no clear vector of reforms, everything is chaotic, there is a change of government, there is no confirmation that the country is confidently moving into Euro-Atlantic structures,” says Oleg Ponomar.
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