The 19th Ukraine-EU Summit took place in Kyiv on 12th and 13th July 2017 with participation of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
In accordance with the agenda of the event the leaders discussed implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade area, sectoral cooperation, progress in reforms, situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas, state of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, preparation for the future Eastern Partnership Summit.
The leaders welcomed the completion of the ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU which enters into force on 1September 2017. Focus was made on systematic and effective implementation of the Association Agreement aimed to further deepen the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU. President of Ukraine reconfirmed that the European aspirations of Ukraine and its’ European choice remain unchanged and expressed gratitude to the leaders of the EU institutions and the Member States for the strong support of the comprehensive rapprochement of Ukraine with the EU.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk underlined the recognition of the European aspirations of Ukraine by the EU and welcoming of its European choice as the key element of the Agreement.
The leaders welcomed the entry into force on 11 June 2017 of the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens following Ukraine's fulfilment of all the benchmarks set out in its visa liberalisation action plan. Nearly 100 thousand Ukrainians have taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the EU within the first month since the visa regime was abolished. President of Ukraine pointed out that the long-term goal of Ukraine – to associate with the Schengen Area would become a powerful incentive to continue reforms and deepen cooperation between law enforcement and border guard authorities of Ukraine and the European Union.
The EU welcomed the intense and unprecedented reforms undertaken by Ukraine over the last three years under severe security challenges in particular in the fields of judiciary, anti-corruption, police, public administration reform, macroeconomic stabilisation, public finance management and procurement, decentralization, trade, energy, banking system and health care and underlined the importance of their further implementation.
The President of Ukraine highly appreciated the EU’s strong support of Ukraine in the implementation of reforms, in particular the plans to disburse €200 million in 2017 for the implementation of the Association Agreement, public finance management, support for the Energy Efficiency Fund and assistance to those effected in Donbas. The leaders also welcomed the disbursement of the second tranche of €600 million from the EU macro-financial assistance in April 2017 and agreed on the implementation of the policy measures attached to the disbursement of the third tranche of the programme worth €600 million. At the Summit, an agreement was reached to hold the International Investment Conference in support of Ukraine in Brussels in early 2018.
President of Ukraine informed the EU leaders about the situation in Donbas and the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements. The EU leaders reaffirmed the EU Member States’ unequivocal support of the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and strongly condemned the violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russia’s acts of aggression since March 2014. The leaders recalled that the EU's economic sanctions against Russia have been renewed for six months until January 31, 2018, and that their duration remains clearly linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
The leaders condemned the ongoing deterioration of security situation in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and agreed that security is an indispensable element for the political settlement. The leaders furthermore condemned Russia’s unlawful action on the introduction of the Russian rouble in the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic", the seizure of numerous Ukrainian enterprises situated in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the recognition by the Russian Federation of documents issued by the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic".
The leaders reconfirmed their full commitment to the non-recognition policy of the attempted annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, in particular through respective restrictive measures and called upon UN Member States to respect the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262 of 27 March 2014. They denounced the ongoing militarisation of the peninsula and grave violation of human rights, above all, of Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.
The leaders of Ukraine and the EU called on the Russian Federation to free and release without further delay all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens both in the Russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula, as well as grant international human rights defenders free and unrestricted access to the whole territory of Ukraine including Crimea and Sevastopol, as required by the Resolution of the UN General Assembly of 19 December 2016. Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Donald Tusk draw particular attention to the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov who was illegally sentenced and imprisoned in Russia because of his disagreement with the temporary occupation of the Crimea.
The leaders took positive note of the first steps taken jointly to challenge the ongoing Russian disinformation campaigns and stressed the need for their continuation. It was agreed to establish a joint informal EU-Ukraine Working Group on Strategic Communication.
The summit noted the overall positive effect of the provisional application of the AA/DCFTA to advance reforms in Ukraine and promote bilateral trade. A favorable influence in this context will have the introduction by the EU of the additional autonomous trade measures in agricultural and industrial products from Ukraine after decision by the Council of the EU is approved in the nearest future. President of Ukraine proposed to work out ways to further deepen Ukraine's economic integration with the EU.
The EU reaffirmed Ukraine's strategic role as a transit country for the supply of gas to the European Union. President of Ukraine called on the EU leaders to take measures to prevent the realization of a politically motivated and economically unjustified “North Stream-2” project, which undermines Europe's energy security.
The leaders expressed readiness to cooperate on joint modernization and operation of the Ukrainian gas transmission system and storages and on securing reverse gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine. The Ukrainian side proposed to hold an International forum on the prospects for using Ukrainian gas transmission system in 2018 in Brussels.
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to sign as soon as possible the Agreement on the Common Aviation Area between Ukraine and the EU.
Leaders emphasized the importance of improving the coordination of policies in the sphere of digital economy and harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with the EU norms aimed for the gradual integration of Ukraine into the EU Single Digital Market. President of Ukraine pointed out the prospect of creating conditions for the gradual lowering of roaming charges between Ukraine and the EU countries.
The leaders positively noted the opportunities under the Erasmus+ programme to support Ukraine's efforts in modernising its higher education system and its further integration into the European Higher Education Area. President of Ukraine proposed to explore the possibility of granting to Ukrainian youth the right to study in the universities of the EU on the same conditions as citizens of the EU Member States.
The next Ukraine-EU Summit will be held in Brussels in 2018.