The EU stands firmly by Ukraine on its reform path, providing unprecedented financial and technical support, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told the European Parliament (EP) in a speech delivered yesterday on behalf of High Representative Josep Borrell, ahead of the EU-Ukraine Association Council. Dombrovskis also commented on the EP Report on the Implementation of the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine.
Ukraine remains high on the European agenda, he said, adding the European Union continued to provide political, financial and technical assistance as support for its reform agenda to build a more resilient economy. The European Union has stepped up support, especially during this crisis, where the EU is showing solidarity with Ukraine during the pandemic, said Valdis Dombrovskis.
On 11 February, Josep Borrell will launch the process for the review of trade liberalisation for goods, which is foreseen under Article 29 of the Association Agreement, five years after its entry into force.
“The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is a unique platform for Ukraine to advance on its reform path, bringing our economies and societies closer together,” said the Trade Commissioner. “The agreement is producing results: many years of uninterrupted growth stimulated by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The pandemic set back this development last year, but we hope to return to positive tendencies soon. The agreement has an immense potential, and the EU is ready to explore all possibilities to continue enhancing our sectoral cooperation and economic integration.”
Dombrovskis stressed that High Representative Josep Borrell shares the Report assessment that, “despite notable progress, widespread corruption continues to hamper Ukraine’s reform process”.
“Its key institutions must have strong and independent leadership and the chance to do their work free of political, economic or other interference. Recent developments in the rule of law and anti-corruption show that comprehensive judiciary reform is long overdue,” stressed Dombrovskis. “We recognise the complexity of the task. From the start, Russian interference was designed to destabilise, divide and weaken Ukraine. So the best response is to stay united, and keep working toward the prosperity and stability that come from sound economic policies.”
He also urged all reform-oriented political factions in Ukraine to come together and give a clear signal of Ukraine’s determination to make its reform path irreversible.
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