On May 23, 2016 Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin took part in the meeting of foreign ministers of the Eastern Partnership member states.
The event was dedicated to the interim results of implementation of the priorities, set up by the Riga Summit, and to the discussion of challenges to ensure the effectiveness of the next EaP Summit in 2017.
In his speech P.Klimkin emphasized that Russian hybrid aggression radically changed not only is the Eastern Partnership, but relations between the EU and Russia. Despite Ukraine's commitment to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the efforts of European partners, especially Germany and France, Russia deliberately supports further destabilization in the Donbas, continues to supply weapons and equipment from uncontrolled border area and denies access to it for the OSCE Monitoring Mission. Minister presented to his colleagues the clear evidence of systematic violation by Russia of the Minsk agreements.
The Minister called on EU member states to approve ASAP the positive decision on visa-free regime for Ukraine and stressed that this step will be a confirmation of the credibility and reliability of the EU as one of the key partners of Ukraine.
Special attention in Minister’s speech was paid to the situation in temporarily occupied Crimea. He noted that the ban of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the outrageous example of the deterioration of the situation on the peninsula. In this context, the Minister thanked the EU member states for non-recognition policy concerning the annexation of Crimea and called for its continuation.
The Foreign Minister of Ukraine presented to the participants a number of specific proposals of Ukrainian side to strengthen the multilateral sector of cooperation within the Eastern Partnership, namely: the gradual spread of the common EU market to the markets of countries which have concluded an Association Agreement with the EU, introduction of additional forms of cooperation related to the implementation of the FTA, the harmonization of the rule of law, strengthening cooperation in the field of combining transport and energy networks, student and youth exchanges.
During the meeting Pavlo Klimkin held a series of bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Croatia, during which the parties discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, the implementation of key reforms in Ukraine, the completion of the ratification of the Association Agreement and visa-free regime, as well as the issues of bilateral agenda. The Minister also had a conversation with his Moldovan counterpart.