Crimea, Donbas, reforms: Zelensky, Duda make joint statement

Crimea, Donbas, reforms: Zelensky, Duda make joint statement

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Polish President Andrzej Duda have stressed the importance of a strategic partnership between Ukraine and Poland, according to their joint statement published on the website of the head of the Ukrainian state.

"We express our will for their full development for the benefit of our societies and economies. We agree that the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the global and regional order. We emphasize the need to strengthen international cooperation with a view to overcoming new challenges and threats," the document reads.

The heads of state also stressed the respect of Ukraine and Poland for international law and basic principles of international relations, while calling for an end to the illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the ongoing aggression in Donbas.

Both parties condemned crimes against humanity, including hate crimes that can in no way be justified. They also recognized the importance of honoring the memory of innocent victims of the conflicts and political repressions of the twentieth century.

Zelensky and Duda condemned acts of desecration of Ukrainian cultural monuments and sites of remembrance in Poland and Polish cultural monuments and sites of remembrance in Ukraine, calling on the concerned authorities to take proper care of them.

"We reaffirm the importance of protecting the rights of national minorities in Ukraine and the Republic of Poland, in particular in the field of education, in accordance with international commitments and bilateral agreements. The principles of the functioning of Polish minority schools in Ukraine and Ukrainian minority schools in Poland will be separately regulated by an agreement between our governments," the statement reads.

Zelensky and Duda also reaffirmed the readiness of both countries to cooperate in order to further deepen Ukraine's relations with the European Union on the principles of association and deep economic integration and praised the results of the 22nd EU-Ukraine summit on October 6.

The Ukrainian side reaffirmed the state's unwavering course to implement a set of ambitious reforms, strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption, and the Polish side reaffirmed its readiness to provide further support for systemic transformation in Ukraine.

The parties also stressed the importance of mutually beneficial economic cooperation in order to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Ukrainian and Polish markets in the context of a functioning deep and comprehensive free trade area between the European Union and Ukraine.

"We see the need to immediately intensify the work of the Ukrainian-Polish intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. It is in the interests of the two countries to increase mutual investment in Ukraine and Poland, and it is, therefore, important to create favorable conditions for doing business," the presidents said.

They stressed the need for further cooperation in the energy sector with a view to strengthening energy security in the region and in Europe as a whole, given the importance of increasing the security and diversification of energy supplies, as well as ensuring the transparency of the energy sector.

According to the statement, Poland supports the deepening of cooperation between Ukraine and the Three Seas Initiative.

Zelensky and Duda stated the need to continue the work of the Consultative Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland, which is to hold its next meeting in Warsaw.

"We recognize that humanitarian and cultural cooperation remains an important part of the bilateral agenda and will be aimed at promoting people-to-people contacts, developing new initiatives and implementing joint projects in the fields of education, science, health, sports, youth exchanges, and tourism," the statement reads.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, are on an official visit to Ukraine on October 11-13.

Zelensky paid a working visit to Poland on January 26-27.

Duda last visited Ukraine in 2017.

In July, Duda was elected President of Poland for a second term. In his second presidential term, Duda paid his first foreign visit to Italy and the Vatican, and is making his second foreign trip to Ukraine.


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