The tenth meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC) was held in Strasbourg on 18-19 December 2019, co-chaired by Vadym Halaichuk on behalf of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Witold Waszczykowski on behalf of the European Parliament.
The Parliamentary Association Committee, having discussed the recent developments in Ukraine and EU-Ukraine relations, and having exchanged views on the priorities for future developments, agreed upon the following final statement and recommendations.
Inter alia, the Parliamentary Association Committee welcomes the pro-European strategic course enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine; stresses that the Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) constitutes the backbone of the European integration agenda, and that its implementation is bringing Ukraine significantly closer to the EU, is modernising the country and boosting economic development and is translating into concrete improvements in citizens’ lives; welcomes the ambition reflected in the Joint Statement following the 21st Ukraine-EU Summit on 9 July 2019, the government’s action plan of 29 September 2019 and in the revised action plan on Association Agreement implementation adopted on 19 November 2019.
The PAC stresses that the Association Agreement does not constitute the final goal of EU-Ukraine relations and points out, in this respect, that Ukraine has a European perspective pursuant to Article 49 TEU, and may apply to become a member of the European Union.
The PAC also emphasises its strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders; recalls its strong condemnation of Russia’s acts of aggression against Ukraine, which has resulted in the temporary illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) and of certain territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, as well as in the blocking of international shipping routes to the Sea of Azov and at the Black Sea, which constitute a deliberate violation of international law, democratic principles and fundamental values; strongly condemns human rights violations carried out by Russia on the occupied territories, including violations of religious freedom; calls for the freedom of navigation, under the International Law of the Seas Convention, both in the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea, to be restored and respected by Russia; calls on the Russian authorities to release unconditionally and without further delay all Ukrainian citizens, including Crimean Tatars, who are illegally and arbitrarily detained on politically motivated charges both in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
Parliamentary Association Committee welcomes the roll-over of EU restrictive measures against the Russian Federation, including the addition, on 14 March 2019, of 8 persons involved in the use of force by the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018; calls on the EU to respond with further targeted restrictive measures to so-called “local elections” held by occupying authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol on 8 September 2019; recalls that sanctions against Russia need to remain in place until the full restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; calls on the EU to be ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require; and also invites the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to visit the government-controlled part of Donbas.
The next meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee will be held in spring 2020 in Ukraine.