Council conclusions on Ukraine (Luxembourg, 20 October 2014)
20 October 2014 19:39

The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. Recalling its conclusions of 15 August and the European Council conclusions of 30
August, the Council welcomes the Minsk Protocol of 5 September and the Minsk
Memorandum of 19 September, agreed in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group,
as a step towards a sustainable political solution of the crisis, which needs to be based on
the respect for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Council
takes good note of the decreased overall level of violence as a result of the agreed
ceasefire but regrets and condemns the continued numerous violations of it. The Council
welcomes the releases of hostages so far and calls for all the remaining hostages to be
released. It commends Ukraine's efforts to implement its commitments, in particular
through the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the laws on amnesty and on interim local
self-governance. The Council reiterates the important role of the OSCE Special Monitoring
Mission in implementing the Minsk Protocol and the Minsk Memorandum and the need to
provide the Mission with the resources needed to comply with the tasks. The Council
reminds all parties concerned of their responsibility for a safe environment for the OSCE
monitors. The EU and Member States stand ready to provide increased financial and in
kind support to the OSCE SMM.

2. The Council expects the parties' full engagement and swift implementation of all other
commitments under the Minsk documents. The Council underlines the Russian
Federation's responsibility in this context, and calls for the withdrawal of illegal armed
groups, military equipment, fighters and mercenaries, as well as for the securing of the
Ukrainian-Russian border with permanent monitoring under OSCE verification. The
Council supports swift expansion and extension of the OSCE Observer Mission to
Russian checkpoints to ensure effective and full control of the border by Ukraine and calls
on the Russian Federation to do the same.
It also expects the unwavering practical commitment by the parties to the holding of the
early local elections in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in full conformity with
Ukrainian law and international standards, as foreseen by the Minsk Protocol and by the
law on interim self-governance. The Council encourages the Government of Ukraine to
invite OSCE/ODIHR to observe these elections and calls on all parties to ensure safe and
secure conditions for such an Election Observation Mission, should it take place. The
holding of "presidential" and "parliamentary" elections, called by the self-appointed
authorities, would run counter to the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Protocol and disrupt
progress towards finding a sustainable political solution in this framework. The EU would
not recognise them.

3. The Council reiterates its call upon all States and actors in the region to ensure safe and
unrestricted access to the crash site of MH17, to allow resumption of the investigation
onsite and complete repatriation of the remains and belongings of the victims still present
at the site. Those directly and indirectly responsible for the downing of MH17 should be
held accountable and brought to justice as soon as possible.

4. The European Union is concerned by the increasingly serious humanitarian impact of the
crisis in eastern Ukraine. The Council calls on all parties to fully respect international law,
to protect civilians and humanitarian workers and to ensure unhindered access for
humanitarian organisations. The EU is committed to support the population affected by
the conflict, as well as the efforts of the Ukrainian government to that end. In this respect,
the Council welcomes the efforts by the European Commission and the EU Member
States to provide support to the population in need, amounting to EUR 63 million so far.
The EU and the Member States remain committed to scale-up their assistance to the
crises-affected population through additional funding or through targeted and coordinated
in-kind assistance. The Council furthermore recognises the importance of an enhanced
coordination within the European Union and with other international donors.

5. The Council looks forward to the holding of early national parliamentary elections on 26
October in full conformity with international standards and welcomes the deployment of
the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission to this effect. Ukrainian officials and
voters should be unimpeded in preparing for the elections, and all candidates should be
ensured safe and secure conditions to campaign freely, across the whole country. The
Council condemns the recent incidents of beating and intimidation of some candidates
and underlines the need for proper campaigning conditions for all candidates.

6. The Council supports the Commission's efforts in seeking an interim agreement for the
resumption of gas supplies by Russia to Ukraine and recalls the urgency for the sides to
reach an agreement on the basis of the Protocol proposed at the latest trilateral meeting.
Such an agreement, as well as urgent and long-term measures to improve energy
efficiency in Ukraine, are critical for safeguarding the security of supply and transit this
winter. The Council encourages the Government of Ukraine to maintain the momentum on
energy sector reforms, in line with its commitment under the Energy Community Treaty, in
particular to further advance on the restructuring of the natural gas sector.

7. The Council welcomes the recent adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the laws on
prosecution and anti-corruption, and encourages Ukraine to continue the process of
envisaged reforms and economic modernisation, including those foreseen in the
Association Agenda, in accordance with its international commitments. Constitutional and
decentralisation reforms, as well as ensuring rights of persons belonging to national
minorities in line with the relevant standards of the Council of Europe, are of particular
importance. Based on the mandate given in the properly conducted parliamentary and
local elections, an inclusive national dialogue should be resumed, as foreseen in the
Minsk Protocol. In coordination with other donors and international financial institutions,
the European Union stands ready to support implementation of the comprehensive reform
package as well as rebuilding of Ukraine’s economy.

8. The Council approves the Operational Plan of the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian
Security Sector Reform (EUAM Ukraine) in response to its conclusions of 23 June, which
further emphasises the commitment of the EU to support Ukraine and in particular in
assisting the Ukrainian authorities in meeting the urgent needs to effectively address
Civilian Security Sector Reform. The Council reiterates the importance of coordination and
coherence with other EU efforts, with the OSCE, and with other international actors.

9. The European Union does not recognise the local elections held on 14 September in the
illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol. The Council reiterates its call on UN Member
states to consider non-recognition measures similar to those pursued by the EU in line
with the UNGA Resolution 68/262. In that respect, the Council fully supports the
continuation of the missions of the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe,
and expects all parties to provide them with full, free and unrestricted access to the whole
territory of Ukraine, including Crimea. The Council condemns the deterioration of the
human rights situation on the peninsula, in particular the persecution and intimidation of
the Crimean Tatar community, including the cases of kidnapping, torturing and killing of
young male Crimean Tatars, the eviction of the Mejlis from its premises in Simferopol and
interrogations of its activists.

10. The Council welcomes the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by the
Ukrainian Parliament and the consent given by the European Parliament, enabling the
provisional application of the relevant provisions of the Association Agreement as of 1
November. It calls upon Ukraine to continue the process of envisaged reforms and
economic modernisation, including the adequate preparation for the implementation of
Title IV of the Association Agreement, in line with the timeframe specified in the Council
Decision, taking into account Ukraine's international commitments. The Council also
welcomes the Commission proposal for an extension of the autonomous trade
preferences for Ukraine in line with the Joint Ministerial Statement of 12 September on the
implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement/DCFTA and looks forward to its
swift adoption. It underlines the importance for all parties to strictly abide by their
commitments in the Joint Ministerial Statement, which is part and parcel of a
comprehensive peace process in Ukraine, respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity and the
right of Ukraine to decide on its destiny. It recalls that the Association Agreement is a
bilateral agreement and any adaptations to it can only be made at the request of one of
the parties and with the agreement of the other."

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