Charles Michel (president of the European Council), Ursula von der Leyen (president of the European Commission) and Volodymyr Zelenskyy (president of Ukraine), met today in Kyiv (3 February) to discuss the 24 th EU Ukraine Summit.
- Today’s meeting took place in the context Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified war on Ukraine. It was strongly condemned by us and we discussed ways to support Ukraine, how to increase our collective pressure on Russia to stop its war against Ukraine and how to withdraw its troops. As long as Russia continues its war of aggression, the EU will continue to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We emphasized the historic importance of the European Council’s 23 June 2022 decision to recognize the European perspective and to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country. We repeated that Ukraine’s future and that of its citizens is within the European Union. We share the same values of democracy and rule of law, respecting international law and human right, including those belonging to minorities. The EU reiterated its support for Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty as well as its territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.
Association Agreement, and the accession procedure
Association Agreement that includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and the Accession Process
- We have reaffirmed our determination to deepen our relationship, which is based on shared values and close and privileged connections. The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was and is essential in facilitating and supporting Ukraine’s continued integration with the EU. The EU reminded the European Council’s decision to recognize Ukraine’s European perspective, and to grant Ukraine the status as a candidate. The EU reiterated its support for Ukraine’s European integration. Once all conditions in the opinion of the Commission are met, the EU will take further steps. Ukraine affirmed its determination to fulfill all conditions in order to begin accession negotiations as soon and as possible.
The EU reiterated its invitation to the Commission to report on the fulfillment of the conditions in the Commission’s opinion regarding Ukraine’s application for membership. This was part of its regular enlargement program in 2023. We note, without prejudice to the comprehensive regular reporting, that the Commission intends to update Ukraine in spring 2023. This will also be communicated through the appropriate channels.
The EU recognized the significant efforts Ukraine made in recent months to meet the EU’s candidate status, welcomed Ukraine’s reform efforts during such difficult times and encouraged Ukraine to keep going on the same path to achieving future EU membership.
We reiterated that a comprehensive and consistent implementation judicial reforms in accordance with the Venice Commission’s recommendations, including reforming the Constitutional Court, and the selection process of politically independent and qualified constitution judges, is vital to strengthening Ukraine’s resilience as well as for the progress of the enlargement process. We recognized the importance of the EU Advisory Mission civilian. We applauded Ukraine’s greater alignment with the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and recalled our shared commitment to support the principles enshrined within the Association Agreement, especially Article 7(2). We are pleased with progress made in ensuring an independent and effective operation for the anti-corruption institutions as well as the alignment of Ukraine’s media legislation to the EU audio-visual services acquis. Both the EU and Ukraine reaffirmed their commitment to respecting minorities’ rights, as stated in UN and Council of Europe conventions. Ukraine will continue to cooperate and consult with the Venice Commission. It will also continue the substantive dialogue with representatives from minorities on relevant legislation. The EU is ready to support Ukraine in its reform efforts as well as their implementation.
The EU welcomed Ukraine’s intentions to prepare the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis. This was based on the Analytical Report about Ukraine’s preparedness in the acquis chapters following the Commission’s Opinion on Ukraine’s application for European Union membership. In this crucial step towards aligning Ukrainian legislation with EU acquis, the EU is available to support the Government of Ukraine.
We reiterated our intention to fully utilize the potential of the Association Agreement (AA/DCFTA) in order to create conditions for improved economic and trade relations that will lead to Ukraine’s integration into EU’s Internal Market. The roadmap outlines the next steps in facilitating Ukraine’s acces to the EU’s Internal Market. It is outlined in the revised Priority Action Plan to enhance implementation of DCFTA 2023-2024. The EU expressed its willingness to support the reforms. The EU stressed the trade-enhancing benefits of temporarily suspending all tariffs and trade defense measures on imports from Ukraine to the EU since June 2022. The EU will review Ukraine’s request for an extension of the current validity of the measures. Both parties took note of the positive impact of EU trade liberalization measures and committed to ensuring that trade defense measures are in complete compliance with the WTO/Association Agreement/DCFTA. We welcome Ukraine’s reforms to trade facilitation, customs, and transit. Ukraine welcomes the EU’s continued determination and efforts to include Ukraine within the European roaming zone as soon as possible. The EU recognized the efforts made by Ukraine to align its telecommunications sector with European standards and encouraged it to continue this trend. We agreed to accelerate the work of EU’s preliminary assessments missions and other necessary steps in order to start negotiations on the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acknowledgement of Industrial Products (ACAA).
- The EU reiterated its support for ongoing programmes and projects. We welcome Ukraine’s accession to EU CUSTOMS, FISCALIS, and its association with the Horizon Europe, Euratom and EU’s Single Market Programmes. As well as its participation at the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, we are pleased for them.
United Responds to Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine
Russia’s growing war of aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law, as well as the principles of UN Charter. In the face of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression, the EU reiterated its support for Ukraine and its solidarity. We condemn Russia’s use of drones and missiles to attack civilians in Ukraine and civilian infrastructure, violating International Humanitarian Law. We strongly reject and condemn Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions. Like in the cases of Crimea, Sevastopol and Sevastopol the European Union will not recognize any illegal annexations to any part of Ukrainian territory as legal. We demand that Russia immediately and completely withdraws all its military forces from Ukraine’s entire territory within internationally recognized borders.
The EU recognized the courage and determination shown by the Ukrainian people and their leadership in fighting for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of Ukraine. According to international law and the UN Charter, Ukraine is
It can exercise its inherent right to self-defence in the face of Russian aggression. It is entitled to free and regain control over all occupied territories within its international borders.
- The EU remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance and assistance to Ukraine in the face of Russian aggressions against critical infrastructure and civilians, and working closely with international humanitarian actors.
- We emphasized that war crimes, and other serious crimes during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, of which growing evidence is available are a gross violation international law. We affirmed our support for investigations by the International Criminal Court prosecutor. Russia and all of its perpetrators and accomplices will be held accountable. We agreed to work together to ensure full accountability. This includes establishing a mechanism to prosecute the crime of aggression. Ukraine expressed its preference for the establishment of a Special Tribunal. We support the establishment of an international center for the prosecution for the crime in aggression in Ukraine (ICPA), in The Hague. This would allow for coordination of investigations into the crimes against Ukraine and preserve and store evidence for future trials. The centre would link to the Eurojust-supported Joint Investigation Team.
We discussed ways to support Ukraine further and how to increase collective pressure upon Russia to stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and withdraw its troops.
The EU has strengthened and extended its sanctions against Russia through the EU’s ninth set of restrictive measures, the international oil price cap and oil product price cap. The EU is ready to strengthen the restrictive measures in close cooperation and coordination with global partners while ensuring effective implementation and preventing its facilitation. The EU calls on all countries to adhere to EU sanctions in this context.
- We strongly condemn the Iranian authorities’ military support for Russia’s aggression war. This must be stopped. The EU’s restrictive measures on 12/12/2022 were welcomed by Ukraine in this context. We urged the Belarusian authorities not to allow the Russian war on aggression by allowing Russian armed forces to use Belarusian territories and providing training and support to the Russian military. The Belarusian government must adhere to international law. The EU will continue to react to any actions that support Russia’s illegal and unjustified war on aggression, and is ready to take further restrictive measures against Belarus.
Peace and quiet
- The EU reiterated its willingness to support Ukraine’s efforts for a peaceful settlement that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity. Russia has yet to show any real willingness for a peaceful and fair settlement. We supported the President Zelenskyy’s peace formula and pledged to work with Ukraine to implement the 10-point peace plan. We support the idea for a Peace Formula Summit to launch its implementation. We will cooperate to ensure that the largest possible international participation is achieved.
- Ukraine welcomes the EU’s promise to provide political and military support for as long as necessary. This includes more than EUR 3.6 billion in military assistance under the European Peace Facility and the creation of the EU Military Assistance Mission to provide initial training for 30 000 soldiers by 2023. The total EU military support for Ukraine, including the military support from EU member states, is close to EUR 12 million.
Countering cyber- and hybrid threats
- The EU reiterated its solidarity and commitment to Ukraine’s countering cyberattacks and hybrid threats, and its willingness to provide continued support. We emphasized our increased cooperation in cybersecurity and our determination to achieve further concrete results. We recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation to combat Russian state-controlled information manipulation, interference and disinformation.
The EU will support Ukraine for as long it takes. Ukraine was happy to receive the EU’s promised assistance as a response to Russia’s aggression war. The total amount of EU and member state assistance for Ukraine has reached nearly EUR 50 billion. This includes budgetary, financial, humanitarian, emergency, as well as military support. The EU has also committed to providing up to EUR 18 million MFA+ package to Ukraine for financial assistance to meet its immediate needs. This will allow Ukraine to rebuild and repair critical infrastructure by 2023. Additional EUR 10 billion was given to support refugees. The first EUR 3 billion disbursement to Ukraine was welcomed by the country. This helped reduce the urgent liquidity requirements early in the year.
- Around 8 million Ukrainians have received refuge from the Russian war on aggression in the EU. The Temporary Protection Directive will continue to protect those from Ukraine who seek refuge in the EU. This protection will last until March 2024.
Reconstruction – Relief – Energy – Connectivity
- Russia’s ongoing campaign to strike civilian targets in Ukraine, including civilian civilians, civilian targets, civilian energy infrastructure, and other utilities, causes more suffering for the Ukrainian people, and is a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.
We welcomed the Paris conference on Ukraine’s resilience, reconstruction and recovery on 13 December 2022. The Union Civil Protection Mechanism played a key role in its implementation. We also stressed the importance of close collaboration with the G7 as well as all international partners.
We condemn Russia’s actions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuke power plant. We also call on Russia immediately to stop any actions that could endanger the safety and security civilian nuclear facilities. We affirmed our full support of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to help Ukraine ensure nuclear safety and security. In the face of Russia’s nuclear weaponisation, the EU will not break apart.
In kind assistance has been provided by the EU and its Member states to Ukraine in the amount of EUR 527 millions, including in the field of energy, via the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU also provided EUR 485 million in humanitarian assistance in 2022. We discussed continuing to provide humanitarian and civil protection aid to Ukraine, including in kind, as well as assistance in the restoration and maintenance of Ukraine’s vital infrastructure. This will help Ukraine weather the winter, preserve livelihoods and maintain basic services. It also included rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), schools for children in Ukraine and urgent energy equipment like i.a. autotransformers and energy generators, as well as LED lightbulbs.
The EU reiterated its commitment to supporting Ukraine’s rapid recovery and reconstruction. This includes rebuilding the social infrastructure, demining assistance, and support in health, psychological rehabilitation, and reintegration into social life. The EU announced a new package worth up to EUR 25 millions to aid humanitarian mine action. The EU has confirmed its intent to play a leadership role through the multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform between Ukraine, the G7 and International Financial Institutions. This platform builds on the results from the Lugano, Berlin and international conferences on reconstruction in Ukraine. Both the EU and Ukraine stressed that Ukraine’s European path and its efforts to modernize and align with EU standards are mutually supportive. We recognized the critical role that civil society, local administrations, and private actors would play in Ukraine’s rebuilding.
The Summit saw the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the European Union with Ukraine on a Strategic Partnership on Renewable Gases. This will increase our energy security, fight climate change, and have an impact on economic recovery as well as the integration of our energy markets.
- We stressed the importance of implementing further the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes. They have been a vital link for Ukraine’s economy, allowing trade in all sectors to be connected with the EU and other parts of the world. They have enabled the export of approximately 45 million tonnes Ukrainian goods, and the import into Ukraine, of around 23 million tonnes, of goods. This has generated an estimated EUR 20billion in revenue for Ukrainian farmers and businesses. We decided to prioritize efforts to strengthen EU-Ukraine connectivity, especially by developing interoperable railway infrastructure, expanding the EU-Ukraine Road Transport Agreement, and mobilizing EU financial support for the development Solidarity Lanes, as announced in the EU-Ukraine Joint Declaration of 11/11/2022.
- In accordance with EU law and international law, the EU will intensify its efforts to use Russia’s assets frozen for Ukraine’s reconstruction and reparation.
- The EU will continue to intensify its diplomatic support for Ukraine in all relevant international forums, calling for unwavering solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression.
Working together for Global Food Security
- We reminded you that Russia’s use of weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine has caused world-wide disruptions in agricultural production, supply chains, and trade, which have led to unprecedented food and fertiliser price increases. We stressed the need to strengthen the Solidarity Lanes. They have delivered over 23 million tonnes worth of Ukrainian grain, oilseeds, and other products to global markets between May 2022 and December 2022. Solidarity Lanes, together with the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative (and the Grain from Ukraine program), are crucial to our common goal of ensuring that food and fertilisers remain affordable and readily available. By stepping up diplomatic outreach and supporting global food security, we stand in total solidarity with our partners around the world.
- Parallel to Ukraine’s European integration efforts the EU and Ukraine recognized the importance of strengthening tailor-made regional cooperation, including the Eastern Partnership. This, with its differentiated approach, contributes to the resilience and security of our Eastern Neighbourhood. It facilitates also cooperation on security matters, including hybrid threats and energy security.
European Political Community
- The first meeting of the European Political Community took place in Prague on 6 October 2022. It was a success. This meeting was a platform for political coordination as well as an opportunity to have in-depth discussions on pressing issues affecting the whole continent. We look forward for the next meeting in Chisinau, in the first half 2023.
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