Dear President Tusk,
Dear President Juncker,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very grateful for this unique opportunity and unique format of the today's meeting.
Today, we have a mini-summit with participation of three Presidents: President of the European Commission, President of the European Council and President of the European Parliament; as well as the meeting with European Commissioners.
It is very important now for Ukraine to have this meeting.
First of all, to sum up the achievements during the passing year and to set up ambitious priorities for the year ahead.
Certainly, the main focus of our today’s meeting will be concentrated on the situation in Donbas and the annexed Crimea.
I highly appreciate the unwavering solidarity and unity of the European Union in support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It is very important to have this unity in times of Russian aggression.
In the coming hours the European Union will take political decision on prolongation of sectoral sanctions against Russia, which will be formalized, I hope, till the end of the week.
I think this is extremely important, because this is the only instrument to motivate Russia to implement the Minsk agreements in full.
With a view to facilitating the difficult discussion among the EU member states I have brought with me a number of additional evidences of continuous non-compliance by Russia with the Minsk agreements.
Violation of territorial integrity, delivering troops, delivering weapons and lots of other evidence.
I believe we should stick to the understanding that the duration of the restrictive measures against Russia is directly linked to full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Moreover, I have brought with me some ideas about ways to increase EU engagement into the peace settlement and will be glad to discuss them with EU leadership.
Visa liberalization is another top priority item of today’s agenda.
I would like to thank President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker for the very firm position demonstrated after the Ukraine-EU Summit in Kyiv.
We have an ambitious agenda and I am happy to inform that we implemented all the points we had agreed at that time.
We in Ukraine look forward to receiving green light from the European Commission on legal formalization of introduction of visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens in 2016.
In parallel Ukrainian authorities will continue implementing the wide scope of reforms in the field of anti-corruption, justice and home affairs to build upon the progress achieved in the framework of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
We know what needs to be done further and we will do it in close cooperation with the European Commission.
I hope that the EU member states and the European Parliament will approve the positive decision on visa-free regime for Ukraine.
Despite all speculations there are no reasons to believe that Ukraine presents any migration risk to the EU member states. We are a responsible nation and we prove it.
Ukrainian people have deserved not only by reforms, but also with their own blood and fight for European values the right to have a visa-free regime with the European Union.
Another tipping point in today’s discussion is the Ukraine-EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
Last year we made a very difficult and sensitive decision to postpone the launch of the DCFTA for a year. We hoped that this additional time would be used to find the ways to accommodate the Russian concerns as regards implementation of the DCFTA.
However, the whole year of trilateral talks proved that Russia did not strive to find any compromise solutions. Its goal is just to put a veto on DCFTA, to halt the process of gradual economic integration of Ukraine in the EU.
Therefore, our position is firm and clear: the DCFTA will become operational starting from January 1.
Unfortunately, today President Putin issued a decree on the withdrawal of preference regime of the CIS FTA and before that Prime Minister Medvedev introduced trade restrictive measures, including the embargo on the Ukrainian food imports.
Ukraine is aware of these restrictions. They expected damage to the Ukrainian economy, but we are ready to pay this price for our freedom and for our European choice.
We are absolutely sure that we will have a discussion with the European Commission about the additional steps for the implementation and improving of DCFTA. But DCFTA cannot be postponed. That is for sure.
On energy issues I would like to confirm that Ukraine was and remains a reliable partner for the EU on the matter of gas transit as well as a solid contributor to energy security of the EU. We expect the same attitude from the EU partners.
Here I mean the ill-known project of the Nord Stream-2. The message of Ukraine is very clear: the Nord Stream -2 is our greatest concern as of today and it should be blocked as the project which undermines both Ukraine’s and Europe’s energy security.
We will also touch upon the recent achievements of Ukraine on agenda of political and economic reforms.
Ukraine is on the eve of strategically important political decisions in the context of constitutional amendments as well as further social and economic policies.
What we need is internal unity plus international solidarity and support.
Therefore, today we will also discuss the ways to speed up the disbursement of the second tranche of the macrofinancial assistance program of the EU. We are grateful for this demonstration of solidarity and we are really decisive to implement reforms.
Summing up, I look forward to frank and open discussion on all the matters of common concern and hope for positive and mutually beneficial outcome.