On March 19, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine took part in the meeting "Ukraine + Friends of Ukraine in the EU" at the level of heads of foreign ministers of the EU member states with participation of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the EU Commissioner for ENP policy and enlargement negotiations Johannes Hahn. The meeting was organized with the assistance of Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius.
Before the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, where Ukrainian issue was on the agenda, Pavlo Klimkin briefed his colleagues on the situation in the Donbas, continued active bombardment of Ukrainian positions by militants supported by Russia, including the increased use of forbidden weapons. In this context, the Minister emphasized the importance of EU political support for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas, which should have access to all the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and the uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Pavlo Klimkin thanked the EU leadership for its clear position regarding non-recognition of the illegal presidential elections in Crimea, as it was expressed in the Declaration of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU member states on the occasion of the fourth year of the illegal occupation of the peninsula. Pavlo Klimkin urged EU foreign ministers to exert pressure on the Russian Federation for peaceful de-occupation of Crimea, as well as the release of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by Russia.
An important part of the discussion was dedicated to the Ukraine’s reform progress, in particular in the context of the implementation of the Association Agreement.
In the course of the meeting, P.Klimkin also informed the EU colleagues about the situation in the energy sector in connection with the refusal of Russian Gazprom to comply with the decision of the Stockholm arbitration. The Minister stressed that despite of the violation by the Russian side of its contractual obligations, Ukraine made every effort to ensure uninterrupted transit of gas to the EU.
Within the framework of the meeting, the parties paid special attention to ways of further EU support of Ukraine, both in implementing reforms and in the context of overcoming existing security threats.