On Thursday, June 24, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, together with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davide Zalkaliani and acting Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Aureliu Ciocoi will visit the EU institutions in Brussels for the first time with a joint visit in the format of the Associated Trio, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported.
According to the press service of the Foreign Ministry, in the information released Wednesday morning, the heads of the Ukrainian, Georgian and Moldovan diplomacy will present to the European Union a joint strategic vision of the further development of the trilateral format of the Associated Trio.
The key topics of the talks will be the European integration of the three countries, the possibility of further liberalization of trade relations, new promising areas of sectoral cooperation with the EU, in particular in the context of the implementation of the European Green Deal and the digital transition.
The parties will also coordinate their positions on security threats in the region and exchange views on preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit in December 2021.
Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova signed a memorandum on the establishment of the Associated Trio in Kyiv on May 17, 2021. The document underlines the European aspirations of the three associated partners of the EU and their ambitions to become members of the European Union. The Associated Trio is a trilateral format in which Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova coordinate their efforts towards European integration.
Ukraine and the European Union have agreed on further economic integration and regulatory convergence in a number of areas.
A joint statement by the leaders of Ukraine and the EU, adopted at the end of the summit in Brussels on Tuesday, says.
“We looked forward to further enhancing economic integration and regulatory approximation within the framework of the Association Agreement in the following fields: on digital, we took note of the on-site assessment of the implementation of Ukraine’s commitments in the AA/DCFTA. We also discussed the EU’s engagement in further supporting Ukraine and its institutions in approximation with and gradual implementation of the EU Digital Single Market acquis and institutional capacities, to fully benefit from the Association Agreement. We agreed to prepare by the end of 2020 a joint working plan for co-operation between EU and Ukraine on electronic trust services with a view to a possible agreement which must be based on approximation to the EU legislation and standards,” the statement reads.
The leaders welcomed progress on the update of the Annexes on telecommunication, environment, climate and financial cooperation of the Association Agreement. “Welcoming Ukraine’s ambition to approximate its policies and legislation with the European Green Deal, we stressed the importance of progress in Ukraine’s commitments in the areas of climate change, environment, marine ecosystem, education, energy, transport and agriculture, building on existing established sectoral dialogues, and agreed on a focused dialogue on the necessary steps in these areas,” the statements says.
In addition, they acknowledged the importance of fully complying with DCFTA commitments, notably in the areas of intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade defence, and sanitary and phytosanitary standards with a view to building an open and predictable business and investment climate in Ukraine. “We agreed to further discuss and review the ways to improve DCFTA implementation in order to further develop and facilitate bilateral trade,” the leaders said.
They also welcomed the launch of the pre-assessment on Ukraine’s preparedness on an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products.
The EU also welcomed Ukraine’s willingness to associate to the incoming EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon Europe and EU4Health Programme, which will be a significant enabler for green and digital post-COVID recovery.
“We recalled the importance and reaffirmed our commitment to concluding the Common Aviation Area Agreement at the earliest possible date,” the statement notes.
What is more, the EU reaffirmed Ukraine’s role as a strategic transit country for gas and welcomed the agreement on gas transit to the EU after 2019. “We underlined the importance of pursuing the modernization of the Ukrainian national gas transmission system and further cooperation on strengthening European energy security. We stressed the importance of Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU, with a view to its integration with the EU energy market based on effective implementation of the updated Annex XXVII of the Association Agreement as well as coordination of further steps for the integration of gas and electricity markets,” it says.
The parties also agreed to improve connectivity between Ukraine, the EU and other countries of the Eastern Partnership with a view to facilitating trade, further developing safe and sustainable transport links and supporting people-to-people contacts.
“We welcomed the participation of Ukraine in EU programmes and underlined the importance of Erasmus+ for education, training, youth and sport and Creative Europe for culture. We looked forward to intensifying the relevant cooperation in the framework of current and future programmes,” the leaders said.
The 22nd Ukraine-EU summit will be the first bilateral EU summit with a third country held physically in Brussels since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The European Council said on Friday that the EU side will be represented by Presidents of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Ukraine will be represented by President Volodymyr Zelensky. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell will also participate.
During the meeting, the leaders will review bilateral relations, including the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the EU support to Ukraine; the next steps in the implementation of the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area; the state of reforms in Ukraine.
Leaders will also discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine, recent developments in Belarus and further regional and foreign policy issues.
It is expected that at 15:30 Brussels (16:30 Kyiv time) on Tuesday, EU leaders will meet the Ukrainian president, and at 17:50 Brussels time (18:50 Kyiv time) a press conference is scheduled to be held in the virtual mode.
The EU-Ukraine Summit will take place in Brussels on October 6.
The corresponding agreement was reached during a telephone conversation between Presidents of the European Council and Ukraine, Charles Michel and Volodymyr Zelensky, Michel said on his Twitter page. “In my call with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and I agreed to meet, together with President Von der Leyen in Brussels on 6 October for the 22nd EU-Ukraine summit,” he wrote.
Previously, the summit was scheduled for October 1.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochytsky has announced the signing of five documents on cooperation between Kyiv and Brussels at the Ukraine-EU summit. “There will be five documents,” Tochytsky said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday. According to him, in particular, the documents will concern technical cooperation programs regarding the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, as well as decentralization and the fight against corruption.
In addition, a document on the work of infrastructure projects in Donbas is to be signed.
“The EU sent a group of experts who traveled from Mariupol to Zaporizhia and offered a project sum of 10 million for infrastructure projects, opening a special EU office in Mariupol,” said Tochytsky.
The EU is aware of the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to ban Austrian journalist Christian Wehrschutz from entering Ukraine and expects that such decisions will be taken in accordance with fundamental rights and freedoms, including the European Convention on Human Rights. The EU press secretary said in his comments, handed over to Interfax-Ukraine in Brussels on Friday.
Having informed that this fact is known in Brussels, the agency’s source noted that the EU attaches great importance to freedom of expression and the media. We expect that any of such decisions will include careful consideration of the rights to freedom of expression. We also expect the Ukrainian authorities to refrain from imposing any unnecessary restrictions on the free flow of information and freedom of the media, the agency’s source said.
At the same time, the press secretary recalled that the EU fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Protection of national security and citizens should be carried out in full compliance with fundamental rights and freedoms, including the European Convention on Human Rights, he stressed.
Earlier, First Deputy Head of the Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy Olha Chervakova reported that the Security Service of Ukraine had prohibited head of the Ukrainian bureau of the Austrian ORF TV channel Christian Wehrschutz from entering the country because of the “threat he poses to national security.”