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06 July 2023, 11:17

The 15th meeting of the Parliamentary Association Committee EU-Ukraine took place in Brussels

Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and their colleagues from the European Parliament took part in the meeting. The participants discussed the EU's support for Ukraine and bilateral relations in the context of countering Russian aggression against Ukraine, bringing perpetrators to justice for crimes of aggression against Ukraine through a special tribunal; reparations; restoration and reconstruction of Ukraine.

PAC co-chairman from the EU side Witold Waszczykowski said that for almost five hundred days Ukrainians have demonstrated an incredible example of courage, resilience, unity and determination. “Our joint task is to convince EU member states and citizens that Ukraine is an asset for the European Union. European and Euro-Atlantic integration is our common interest. Our task is also to convince those who still doubt it. Let's not underestimate that,” he said.

Vadym Halaychuk, co-chairman of the Parliamentary Association Committee from the Ukrainian side, mentioned that it was important to proceed to the first negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU, as well as to find the right formula for obtaining NATO membership and reliable security guarantees. “Our meeting is taking place against the background of Ukraine's counteroffensive and just a few days before the important NATO summit in Vilnius. The European Commission recently provided its oral assessment of Ukraine's fulfilment of the conditions accompanying the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and approved a new mechanism for assistance to Ukraine,” he said.

Vadym Halaychuk also thanked the European Parliament for adopting 32 resolutions in support of Ukraine since the beginning of 2022. He noted that, taking into account Ukraine's accession aspirations, interparliamentary cooperation should be expanded: “As co-chairs of the Parliamentary Association Committee, Mr. Witold Waszczykowski and I express our conviction that now is the time to deepen and expand the scope of our meetings. We need to make the transition from associate to pre-admission agenda. Our parliaments have already launched a more structured intercommittee dialogue, and we have the opportunity to discuss it during this meeting,” said Vadym Halaychuk.

A Head of Secretariat of the Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine Anna Jarosz Friis spoke about the new Ukraine Mechanism, which the European Commission proposed to the EU member states and the European Parliament. It is about 50 billion euros for the next four years. “Ukraine can count on specific funds to be able to plan, support public services, and begin recovery and reconstruction,” said Anna Jarosz Friis. Funds within the framework of this mechanism, according to her, will effectively support the macro-financial system of Ukraine. Anna Jarosz Friis also stated that the Government of Ukraine should draw up a plan for reforms and reconstruction of the country, the creation and implementation of which the European side is ready to support.

Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the first deputy chair of the Parliamentary Association Committee from the Ukrainian side said that it was very important not to relax in supporting Ukraine. In most cases, not only the quantity and quality of weapons for Ukraine is essential, but also the speed of providing them. “I am very glad that now there are more sober expectations from Ukraine's counteroffensive. Because the price of this counteroffensive is extremely high for the Ukrainian people. We should not hope that by only one counter-offensive, one effort, or one mobilisation, we will win back all our territories. It is important to understand that one should not hope for the immediate return of all Ukrainian territories, but should be ready to support Ukraine as long as necessary. And we insisted that this should be stated in our joint resolution — to be with Ukraine until its victory, until the complete defeat of Russia. We need to reach an agreement on this common goal and common vision for the future,” said Ivanna Klympus-Tsintsadze.

She also noted that Europe is getting used to a brutal war that is taking place on its territory. “I was stunned by the limited response to the explosion of the Kakhovka dam. We have heard all these discussions, all these questions — who is really behind this blowing. Only in a week came the realisation that was obvious to us —Russians did it. I can see that Russia's hybrid information interference in our discussion is returning. We should already be immune to it. Let's get rid of it. Let's call a spade a spade again and not wait for Russia to carry out new terrorist attacks on our territory,” emphasised Ivanna Klympus-Tsintsadze.