President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke over the phone on Thursday.
They discussed Ukraine’s and EU’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus and its social and economic consequences, ongoing reform efforts in Ukraine and joint work to tackle the continued destabilising actions by Russia. Strong EU support for Ukraine continues in all these areas.
Both Presidents agreed on the need to step up efforts to provide the necessary vaccines to Ukraine, discussed the prospects of establishing the EU vaccine sharing mechanism and appreciated the role of COVAX, to which the EU significantly contributes. They agreed to continue working together in order to ensure a mutual recognition of digital certificates to resume non-essential travel for the Ukrainian and EU citizens.
They exchanged views on the situation in the east of Ukraine and reaffirmed the commitment to the full implementation of Minsk Agreements and to the Normandy Format as well as the EU’s strong support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The EU remains fully committed to its policy of non-recognition of illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. The leaders discussed the launch of the Crimean Platform and agreed on cooperation in its framework.
President von der Leyen and President Zelenskyy recalled the joint commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU and welcomed Ukraine’s efforts to realise its European aspirations including through continued close cooperation to strengthen the rule of law and advance reforms.
Important progress on the reform path has been made by Ukraine over the past months despite Russia’s destabilising actions and the severe economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Presidents agreed that these reforms contributed to Ukraine’s resilience in the face of those challenges.
The Presidents noted the progress in the implementation the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and looked forward to starting the consultations on the review of trade liberalisation for goods under DCFTA, and the review of the achievements of the objectives of the Association Agreement.
They also welcomed the progress achieved towards the second tranche of the macro financial assistance, with more work still to be done, notably in the area of judiciary reforms and fight against corruption.
Both Presidents confirmed their readiness to finalise technical procedures for the signature of the Common Aviation Area Agreement as soon as possible. They appreciated cooperation in preparing Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA), welcomed the recommendations of the pre-assessment mission and agreed to proceed to the on-site once the epidemiological situation allows.
They also discussed Ukraine’s interest to be involved in the European Green Deal and EU’s assistance in this regard. Both Presidents agreed to step up cooperation to support economic recovery and investments.