Chaired by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov
June 24, 2013, Sixteenth EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council took place in Luxemburg chaired by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland's EU Presidency E.Gilmour on behalf of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.
The Council stressed the importance of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, including a deep and comprehensive free trade area, which will replace the existing Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the parties by bringing relations to a new level of political association and economic integration.
Prime Minister of Ukraine informed the European side of the steps of the Government of Ukraine on the implementation of political and economic reforms aims to bring the state to the European standards, including in areas related to the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
The Council reviewed the progress made by Ukraine in fulfilling the criteria of Joint Statement of EU - Ukraine Summit on 25 February 2013 and confirmed the readiness to sign the Agreement on "Eastern Partnership" summit in November this year if Ukraine take a decisive action and achieve tangible progress within agreed criteria in the remaining time.
The delegations also discussed the current situation in other important areas of bilateral cooperation.
Given that Ukraine has introduced visa-free regime for EU citizens in 2005, the Council stressed the importance of the forthcoming introduction of EU visa-free regime for Ukraine. The Council welcomed the entry into force on 1 July 2013 Ukraine-EU visa facilitation Agreement as an important step toward the ultimate goal of visa-free regime. The sides also discussed recent legislative moves by Ukraine towards the completion of the first phase of the Action Plan on visa liberalization.
During the discussion on trade and business climate Ukraine expressed its willingness to continue working together to address bilateral trade issues and drew attention that provisional application of free trade area between the parties will automatically settle existing differences. The Council looks forward to the first meeting of the informal dialogue Ukraine - EU business, to be held in late July 2013.
The parties discussed the modalities of cooperation between Ukraine and the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The substantive discussion took place regarding cooperation in the fields of energy, transport and environmental issues.
Ukraine urged the EU to assist in attracting the financial support from international financial institutions to modernize the Ukrainian gas transit system, including the completion of the loan agreement between the EIB, EBRD and "Naftogaz Ukraine" on the priority of the project "Reconstruction of linear structures Urengoy-Uzhgorod Pomary-(1 - st stage). "
Special attention was paid to cooperation with the EU on foreign and security policy, including taking into account the efforts under the presidency of Ukraine in the OSCE to resolve protracted conflicts in Europe. The situation in Syria was discussed as well as.
Cooperation Council adopted amendments to the Association Agenda, and also took into account the recommendations of the 19th session of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee EU - Ukraine.
In the framework of the Cooperation Council, Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov held a bilateral meeting with EU High Representative / Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Eamonom Gilmour and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy S.Fule.