Mr David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, and Mr Dariusz Rosati (EPP, PL), Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, paid a visit to Ukraine on 7-8 April, a first one to this country since their election in their respective capacity in January 2017.
Following the visit they issued the following statement:
“Our first visit took place at the end of a very successful week for EU-Ukraine relations, with the overwhelming vote in favour of visa liberalisation in the EP plenary and the payment of a third tranche of EU macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. Both decisions are two sides of a same coin – the strong willingness of the EU to support Ukraine on its European reform path against the background of the ongoing Russian agression. Our visit aimed therefore not only at demonstrating solidarity with the Ukrainian people, but also at encouraging all stakeholders to pursue the reform efforts. Further progress with initiated reforms remains key, and attained achievements should be consolidated, and by no means reverted – here we think in particular of anti-corruption measures and institutions, the independence of which has to be preserved and reinforced.
The five big reforms set by the government for the rest of the year – health, education, pensions, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, and reform of the arable land market – are of crucial importance for the living standards of the people of Ukraine and the economic development of the country, and deserve all our support. They require intensive work and the commitment of a broad political majority and should therefore not be jeopardised by the Damocleus sword of early elections.
Regarding the situation in the Eastern part of Ukraine, we condemn in the strongest terms the current developments hinting at the integration of the territories held by Russian troops and their proxies into the Russian economic and administrative system. All efforts must be made to stop this evolution and to preserve the unity of the country and of the people. The Minsk process remains the only available way for the peaceful return of these territories under full Ukrainian control. The full implementation of the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons are the two preconditions for further advancement in the peace process. We furthermore conveyed the request of our recent EP resolution to explore the establishment of an international format for negotiations aiming at putting an end to the occupation of Crimea.”
During the visit they met with the Ukrainian President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, with the Speaker and other key Members of the Verkhovna Rada, political leaders and civil society representatives.