Three key topics of Ukraine-EU Summit outlined in Brussels

Three key topics of Ukraine-EU Summit outlined in Brussels

Ukrinform
The main topics of the Ukraine-EU Summit, scheduled for October 12 in Kyiv, will be the implementation of the bilateral EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the fight against COVID-19, and the security dialogue.

This was announced by an official EU representative, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"This summit will provide an important opportunity to strengthen the political association and economic integration into the EU. We have a solid basis for this – the Association Agreement of 2017 and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which has been in force since 2016 and has significantly increased bilateral trade and Ukrainian exports to the EU. This will be an opportunity to summarize the implementation of the Association Agreement – where we are and how to move forward," said the EU representative.

He noted that the parties began updating and revising the current Association Agreement, based on the practical experience of its implementation. Both the EU and Ukraine are currently evaluating the Agreement to present the results of this work at the next bilateral summit in Brussels in 2022.

"At the same time, it is important to continue close cooperation with Ukraine in strengthening the rule of law and the reform process. I would like to emphasize that the meaningful implementation of judicial reform and the continued fight against corruption are key areas," the EU official stressed.

He noted that the EU sought to build closer relations with Ukraine. In this context, three important agreements are expected to be signed during the Kyiv summit. The first concerns the Common Aviation Area, which will create new commercial opportunities for airlines, in particular, introduce Ukraine into the so-called low-cost airspace, which, in turn, will increase passenger traffic and open new opportunities for Ukraine's tourism industry.

Two more agreements concern Ukraine's association with the European programs Horizon Europe and Creative Europe. Both should promote the development of cooperation in the scientific field, exchanges between scientists and researchers, as well open new prospects for young people to receive a quality education.

Another key issue to be addressed during the summit, according to the source, is the coordination of efforts to combat COVID-19: in this area, the EU will be able to demonstrate a high level of solidarity and mutual commitment. In particular, the EU provided Ukraine with EUR 190 million emergency aid package to fight coronavirus and a EUR 1.2 billion macro-financial assistance package to address the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. In total, this aid package exceeds any similar programs that the EU has implemented with other partner countries outside the European Union.

"We in Brussels talked a lot about the investment plan for the Western Balkans during last week's summit. I want to announce that something similar will be done for Ukraine. An investment package of EUR 6.5 billion will be presented. It will be allocated within the framework of an economic investment program that will help increase private investment," said the EU representative.

Another important point to discuss during the Kyiv summit, according to the European source, is security as one of the central topics.

"The European Union and President Michel [President of the European Council Charles Michel] have constantly reiterated the EU's unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President himself was present at the international Crimea Platform summit in August. It was an opportunity to emphasize that illegal [Russia's] annexation, the situation in and around Crimea must remain high on the international agenda," said the EU representative.

He noted that the EU would continue to support diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in particular in the Normandy format, within the OSCE, and the Trilateral Contact Group.

"During the summit, the leaders are expected to reaffirm the EU's commitment to implement and adhere to the policy of non-recognition [of the occupation of Crimea], including the application of restrictive measures. And I think there will also be discussions about what we can do together to overcome certain hybrid threats and misinformation that both Ukraine and the EU face often," said the European representative.

As reported, the Ukraine-EU Summit will take place in Kyiv on the morning of October 12. According to European sources, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who will represent the European side in talks with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, will arrive in Kyiv on Monday.

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