President Petro Poroshenko met with delegation of the European Parliament headed by Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok. "Thank you for your strong support in such a difficult time for Ukraine," the Head of State noted adding that the European Parliament demonstrated solidarity with Ukraine during the illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in Donbas by Russia in the issue of liberation of illegally detained Ukrainians in Russia, particularly through the adoption of resolution regarding Nadiya Savchenko.
Petro Poroshenko informed the European MPs on the recent developments in Donbas and the results of negotiations in the Normandy format. "Step by step we ensure the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by all the parties due to the joint efforts with leaders of Germany and France and strong solidarity with our international allies," the President emphasized.
Commenting on the situation in Donbas, European MPs praised political will and efforts of the Ukrainian authorities in the fulfillment of the peace plan, particularly in the context of drafting constitutional amendments on decentralization and preparation to free and fair local elections scheduled for October 25, 2015. "As President, you defend Ukraine in times of huge challenges for its statehood and create modern identity of your country," European MP Andrej Plenković noted.
The parties agreed that the organization of separate local elections in the so-called DPR and LPR on October 18 and November 1 will have disastrous consequences for the Minsk process and lead to further deterioration of security situation in Donbas.
The President confirmed that the Ukrainian party would like the international observers, including those of the European Parliament, to take part in the election process of October 25, 2015.
The interlocutors acknowledged the necessity of prolongation or reinforcement of sanctions against Russia in case of further escalation until complete fulfillment of the Minsk agreements and restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The members of the European Parliament expressed concern over the lasting violation of human rights in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, as well as Russia's deliberate disregard for the calls of the international community for the liberation of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia, particularly Nadiya Savchenko, Oleh Sentsov and others.
The parties shared their views on the ways to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbas, inter alia, through interpersonal and interregional contacts.
The interlocutors expressed support for the initiative of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine on the establishment of the international tribunal to bring to liability those guilty of shooting down the MH17 aircraft in July 2014.
The President informed on the progress of reforms in Ukraine, particularly on the anti-corruption activities, constitutional amendments regarding decentralization and judicial reform. European MP Petras Auštrevičius compared Ukraine with China in the context of potential and opportunities in Europe. "Your economic opportunities and growth potential must be implemented via reforms. I believe you will succeed sooner or later. You may also provide a stimulus for Europe to develop. Europe should be interested in investing," he said.
Petro Poroshenko praised Austria's completion of the process of ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. He urged the European MPs to facilitate speedy completion of the ratification of the given document by all the EU member-states. He also asked to provide support in the issue of abolishment of visa regime for the Ukrainian citizens in 2016. The President assured of the immutability of Ukraine's position regarding the establishment of deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the EU on January 1, 2016.