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Source: Government of Ukraine

On December 6, 2019, Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk met with a delegation of the European Parliament headed by David McAllister, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, the parties discussed a number of issues.

At the beginning, the Prime Minister raised the issue of the introduction of an industrial free visa regime: “The Government of Ukraine is ready to start negotiations on the ACAA Agreement – the so-called ‘industrial free visa regime’. We have agreed on a plan of the implementation of legislation on joint transit and authorized economic operators. The arrival of the EU Evaluation Mission is now on the agenda and that will trigger the process of negotiations within the framework of concluding the Agreement.”

The Prime Minister added: “The EU is Ukraine’s largest trading partner with a share of 42%. Over the 3 years of the DCFTA being in effect, our trade has grown by 56%.”

Moreover, the parties focused on the agenda of the EU-Ukraine Association Council, which is to summon on January 28, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.

Oleksiy Honcharuk noted: “We intend to further deepen our cooperation with the European Union, especially in the priority areas – energy, customs, digital economy, justice and home affairs. Together with the EU, we will identify the areas that need to be revised aimed to ensure that the integration process meets current challenges. During the meeting of the Association Council on January 28, we intend to analyze the achievements of Ukraine on the path towards European integration and discuss the plan of further actions.”

“We are planning to update Annex XVII in order to ensure the internal market regime in the sphere of financial, telecommunication, postal and courier services be extended to Ukraine,” Oleksiy Honcharuk added.

Apart from that, the interlocutors discussed the formats for deepening Ukraine’s cooperation with the European Union: Eastern Partnership Plus, and The Trio Strategy 2030 proposed by Andrius Kubilius, co-chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. In this regard, the Prime Minister of Ukraine thanked Mr. Kubilius and expressed the Government’s intention to join in its prompt implementation.

Mr. David McAllister said: “Given that the new composition of the European Parliament has been formed and a new Ukrainian Government appointed, now is the time to strengthen relations between the European Union and Ukraine. Our goal is to bring Ukraine closer to EU membership.”

In addition, the parties paid attention to the issue of counteraction to the construction of the Nord Stream 2. Oleksiy Honcharuk noted: “The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a purely political project of Russia, a country that occupied part of Ukrainian territory in violation of international law in the 21st century. Countering the implementation of this project is critical, first and foremost, to guarantee energy security throughout Europe, and is a major factor in preventing monopolization of the European energy market by Russian Gazprom.”

Finally, the Ukrainian Prime Minister thanked the representatives of the European Parliament for their continued support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and emphasized the importance of prolonging by the EU a sanctions policy against the Russian Federation: “The conflict in the east of Ukraine is not only about Ukraine. This is about the world order. That is why it is critical to maintain and further strengthen the existing sanctions policy against Russia. “

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