Ukraine urges EU leaders to back peacekeeping mission in Donbas
EU leaders urged Ukrainian president to continue reforms
The European Union promised to continue to provide assistance to Ukraine if the country continues to fight corruption
European Union leaders on Tuesday welcomed the reforms undertaken by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, urging him to continue to fight corruption, which is “a condition for providing financial assistance” to Kiev. President of the Council of Europe Charles Michel said this during a joint press conference held following the summit of EU leaders in Brussels.
“We welcome the impressive efforts under the leadership of President Zelenskiy, including land and banking reforms, and encourage him to continue to strengthen the rule of law and the fight against corruption,” Michel said..
“EU assistance … depends on the reforms being carried out (by Ukraine),” emphasized EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but what has already been done is impressive.”.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed with the statements of his colleagues: “We have done a lot. We have not eliminated corruption, but we have made progress “.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised to continue reforms to strengthen the rule of law and announced that he expects in return the EU to continue the “visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens” and “access to the internal European market in 2021”.
The EU and Ukraine signed an association agreement and are in talks to establish a free trade area. Charles Michel promised to consider this issue in 2021, based on the success of Zelensky’s reforms.
The European Union on Tuesday allocated additional humanitarian aid for residents of eastern Ukraine for 10 million euros.
The Ukrainian president also thanked the EU for its support in the confrontation with Russia: on Tuesday, the Europeans again condemned the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia and recalled the extension of sanctions against Moscow until March 2021.
The next summit of EU leaders will take place on 15 October. During this meeting, a decision will be made on retaliatory measures in connection with the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with the help of nerve poison. The European Parliament has called for sanctions against Russia, accusing Moscow of trying to destroy a political rival. EU calls for independent investigation of this crime.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced on Tuesday that a substance similar to the Novichok poison, developed and produced by Russia, had been found in Alexei Navalny’s body. These chemical weapons were banned by the OPCW in 2019, and their use could be the reason for the imposition of new sanctions by the EU.