President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Brussels. The Head of State informed Donald Tusk of the consequences of the act of open Russian aggression in the Kerch Strait and the existing threats to regional security.
Petro Poroshenko stressed the need to provide a powerful and adequate response from the EU to Russia's aggression against Ukraine committed on November 25 to counteract the Kremlin's strategy of "creeping occupation" of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. The President of Ukraine called on the EU leaders to condemn the aggressive actions of Russia, demand the restoration of freedom of navigation, the immediate and unconditional release of 24 seized sailors and 3 ships. The President of the European Council received the lists of persons and ships of Russia involved in the act of aggression.
The Head of State emphasized the importance of strengthening the European Union's assistance to the social and economic development of the Ukrainian Azov region, which suffers from a targeted blockade by the Russian Federation. To this end, the President handed over the list of humanitarian and infrastructure projects that could be supported by European partners.
The leaders noted the lack of progress on the part of Russia in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which stipulates the need for the European Council to approve the political decision to further extend the EU economic and sectoral sanctions against Russia after January 31, 2019. In this context, the President thanked for the recent decision of the EU Council on the imposition of sanctions against 9 persons responsible for organizing and holding illegal elections in Donbas on November 11, 2018.
The Presidents agreed to intensify interaction to counter external interference in electoral processes in Ukraine and the European Union in 2019.
The interlocutors exchanged views on the ways to implement the agreements following the XX EU-Ukraine Summit, in particular with regard to deepening sectoral integration in the energy sector, digital market, justice and internal affairs, as well as customs. In this context, the leaders agreed to pay special attention to these issues at the next meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council on December 17, 2018.