More than a million Ukrainians have taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the EU since the introduction of a simplified system in June 2017. “More than a million Ukrainians have already taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the countries of the European Union since June 2017,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page.
The press service of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, in turn, noted that a significant increase in passenger traffic to the European Union countries was associated with the beginning of the tourist season and vacations. In addition, from July to September every year, European countries note the demand for attendance by entrants and students of their educational institutions.
As reported, 500,000 trips of Ukrainians to the European Union were recorded in mid-May 2018.
In general, there are a great number of people going to the EU by air. About 35% of Ukrainians currently choose air travel to the EU. Poland is also a popular destination for crossing the border by road. The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians get into the EU countries through the border with this country.
Exports of Ukrainian agrarian products to European countries in January-May 2018 increased by $13 million, or 0.6%, to $2.3 billion compared to the five months of last year, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reported on its website. “In the five months of 2018, we see the increase in our agricultural exports to the EU by almost $13 million compared to the same period in 2017. The largest share in the structure of agricultural exports to the EU was that of grains, which were exported for almost $862 million, sunflower oil worth $465.8 million, residues and waste products of the food industry for $220 million, oilseeds worth $211.5 million, poultry for $100.5 million,” the press service said citing Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food for European Integration Olha Trofimtseva.
According to her, exports of Ukrainian processed and niche agricultural products to EU markets also rose. In particular, juice exports for the period grew by $11 million, or 2 times, confectionery products from sugar by $8.3 million, or 89.4%, chocolate and other cocoa products by $6.5 million, or 66.2%, legumes by $6.5 million, or 2.4 times, eggs without shell and egg yolks by $6.1 million, or 20 times.
According to the ministry, the main importers of Ukrainian agrarian products were the Netherlands with a share of exports of 15.9%, Spain with 14.1%, Italy with 14%, Poland with 14%, Germany with 9.3%, and France with 6.8%.
Trilateral negotiations of the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine on Russian gas transit via Ukraine after 2019 may begin in early July, according to European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic. “Time is a precious commodity. I hope to start working with Russia and Ukraine on the trilateral gas agenda in early July,” he wrote on Twitter. “Complex negotiations ahead,” Sefcovic wrote. He said in late May that the objective of these negotiations will be to determine details of gas transit via Ukraine after 2019 and guarantees of such transit.
The State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) and the European Commission (EU) signed the Copernicus Cooperation Arrangement formalizing plans to develop cooperation under the Copernicus Earth observation programme.
The EU delegation to Ukraine said that under the Arrangement signed in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership, SSAU would provide full, free and open access to space monitoring data from its Earth remote sensing satellites, as well as to geophysical and meteorological data of regional observatories to the Copernicus programme.
According to the document, it is planned to boost cooperation between SSAU, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) in the sphere of collection and use of data of space monitoring from European Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus programme.
Under the Arrangement, the sides would promote cooperation in processing space monitoring data for joint use in the following areas: long-term management of natural resources, monitoring of marine and coastal zones, water resources management, the impact of climate change and adaptation to them, disaster risk reduction, food security and rural development, and health management issues.
Each side will fund its own activities under the programme and adhere to the principle of ‘no exchange of funds.’ The National Center Of Space Facilities Control And Test would coordinate the programme in Ukraine.
The flow of agricultural goods between Ukraine and the European Union (EU) in January-March 2018 totaled $2.2 billion, according to a posting on the website of the Institute of Agrarian Economy research center. Deputy Director of the center Mykola Puhachev said that the surplus was $845 million. “In Q1 2018, both imports grew by 27%, to $669 million and exports by 15%, to $1.513 billion year-over-year,” he said.
The largest trade partners of Ukraine in the EU are Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Germany and France, with the total share of the agricultural goods flow of over 72%. According to the report, grain and oilseeds, as well as sunflower oil and meal provide for the main volumes of supplies from Ukraine to Europe.
Ukraine imports mainly grain, oilseeds, cacao beans and chocolate, various food, waste of processing industry, spirit and alcohol.
Puhachev said that in January-March 2018, Ukrainian exporters fully used duty free quotas for what, corn, honey, apple and grape juices, malt, the quarterly quota for poultry and the half-year quota for butter. For other food the average usage of quotas is rather low.
“In 2018, the quotas for some goods are growing as it was planned, in particular, sugar, starch, juices, barley cereal, wheat, corn, lamb meat and other products. In addition, preferential quotas for eight goods are in effect for Ukraine: honey, grape juice, barley cereal, preserved tomatoes, oats, wheat, corn and barley,” the expert said.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has recalled the importance of continuing the fight against corruption to attract foreign investment in Ukraine. If we want to create the necessary jobs, we need an economic growth of 5-6%. You need to attract foreign investors for this … To do this, you need to achieve more progress in the fight against corruption and the rule of law, he said during a round table talk titled “Ukraine’s European Choice after the Revolution of Dignity: Opportunities and Problems” in Kyiv.
The European diplomat stressed the need to establish an Anti-Corruption Court in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
We know that much has already been done and still needs to be done in the sphere of the rule of law. And we are currently discussing with the Ukrainian authorities the creation of an Anticorruption Court as soon as possible, which would correspond to the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the diplomat added.
Mingarelli also noted the need to harmonize the Ukrainian legislation with the European one.
According to him, the EU considers the law on the land market as important for realizing the potential of the Ukrainian agricultural sector.