High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said this following an official visit to Kyiv on September 23. The full text of his article was published on the website of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
He noted that on September 22 he made his first visit to Ukraine as High Representative. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this visit came much later than intended.
“The frontline in eastern Ukraine has been calm for almost two months now, the longest period since the war started. Since 2014, the EU has been the strongest partner of Ukraine. Our support will continue but is also linked to the urgent need to enhance the rule of law and develop the fight against corruption,” the High Representative said.
He recalled that during his visit he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian ministers of defense and of foreign affairs, representatives of civil society, an anti-corruption NGO, the OSCE SMM to Ukraine, and visited the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM).
“The most touching part of this trip was my visit to the Maidan Memorial dedicated to the Heavenly Hundred who lost their lives, murdered by snipers near Maidan square in February 2014. In the following days, Russia invaded and illegally occupied Crimea. I also paid a visit at the Ministry of Defence memorial and to the Wall of Remembrance, the wall of the monastery where protestors took refuge during the 2013-14 revolution, since converted into a memorial by adding pictures of fallen soldiers. The war in eastern Ukraine has claimed 13 thousand lives and forced 2.4 million people out of their homes. These visits gave me a profound sense of what Ukrainians have gone through,” Borrell said.
Since the beginning of this fight, the EU stood by Ukraine, as its strongest and most reliable partner, in terms of economic integration, support for the reform processes, and defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, concluded in 2014, is the most comprehensive one that the EU has with any another third country. Since then, Ukraine has received from the EU €14 billion, an unprecedented level of support. Since 2007, the European Investment Bank has financed 43 projects in Ukraine for € 6.45 billion. And in addition to the already mentioned EUAM, the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) works with Ukraine to harmonise border control and customs procedures with those in EU Member States,” the High Representative noted.
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