Ukraine’s Ambassador to EU: European Union Remains Our Number One Partner in Counteracting Russian Aggression

The European Union remains a key partner of Ukraine in counteracting aggression of the Russian Federation, Ambassador of Ukraine to the EU Mykola Tochytskyi said during an online briefing within the conference of heads of foreign diplomatic missions.

“This year we received confirmation that the EU remains our number one partner in counteracting Russian aggression. On 7 December, the EU approved a new, global human rights sanctions regime, which will allow adding violators from the Russian-occupied Crimea to the sanctions list,” the diplomat said.

He also informed that the issue of appointing an EU special envoy for Crimea is being actively discussed now, and the EU supports the goals of the Crimean Platform. At the same time, cooperation on Donbas is taking place with an emphasis on humanitarian aspects. In particular, EUR 23 million was allocated for the humanitarian needs of residents of the occupied territories.

In addition, according to Tochytskyi, during the 7th meeting of the Association Council, scheduled for 11 February 2021, in addition to the Common Aviation Area Agreement and the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products, the parties could sign the Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus (INTERBUS Agreement) and expand the rules of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) Convention.

“As for the agreements… the signing of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products and the Common Aviation Area Agreement is possible. It is a very serious possibility that the parties will sign the INTERBUS Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus in Europe and expand the new rules of the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM Convention) during the meeting,” the diplomat said.

He noted that the agenda of the Association Council meeting will be quite busy also due to the active discussion of annexes and regulations that can be revised in the trade sphere.

At the same time, according to Tochytskyi, Ukraine should take into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission to resolve the constitutional crisis; otherwise, it will affect relations with the European Union.

Bohdan Marusyak

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