Extracts from the press conference by José Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC, Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council and Viktor YANUKOVYCH, Ukraine President
Première transmission: 25/02/2013
Council , Justus Lipsius press room, Brussels
Fin de production: 25/02/2013
The Summit takes place at a defining moment in EU-Ukraine relations. On 10 December 2012 the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on a sequenced policy of engagement with Ukraine. In order for this policy to bear fruit and to enable the possible signing of the Association Agreement by the time of the November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Ukraine needs to undertake determined action and show tangible progress by May at the latest in three key areas:
i) appropriate follow-up actions for the 28 October 2012 parliamentary elections;
ii) addressing the issue of selective justice and preventing its recurrence;
iii) implementing the reforms set out in the jointly agreed Association Agenda.
In pursuing the common objective of Ukraine’s economic integration with the EU, the leaders’ discussions will encompass issues such as macro-economic stability, public finance management, the improvement of the business and investment climate and trade issues. The leaders will also review the state of play as regards the EU’s financial and technical assistance and the cooperation in the fields of energy, in particular the modernisation of the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System, energy sector reform and the implementation of Energy Community commitments. On the issue of mobility, the leaders will discuss progress in the implementation of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation and the state of play as regards the conclusion of an amended Visa Facilitation Agreement
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council (In English) saying that: We focused on the three main areas where the European Union has set out specific criteria, namely selective justice, elections and Association Agenda reforms.
I have underlined the European Union's call for determined action and tangible progress in these areas at the latest by May this year.
||Cutaway of photographers
||SOUNDBITE by Herman Van Rompuy (In English) saying that: Some steps have been taken, but we still need to see more and concrete progress. Progresses in these areas are realistic and feasible, but time is very short. We raised our continued concern over the cases of selective justice. On these matters, we conveyed our full support for the European Parliament’s mission, headed by former Presidents Cox and Kwasniewski, and now look forward to a solution in the cases of selective justice.
||Cutaway of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso, EC President (In Englsih) saying that: The Association Agreement we have negotiated with Ukraine is the most advanced agreement of this type ever negotiated by the European Union and will bring concrete benefits to both EU and Ukraine's citizens. The “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area” foreseen by the Agreement will give Ukraine greater access to the world's biggest internal market and bring significant benefits in terms of increased trade, investment and real economic modernisation.
||Cutaway of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In Englsih) saying that: It is important to note that we are not making neither additional nor unilateral requests, but just asking the commitment to, and implementation of, the Association agenda that was commonly agreed. This is paramount if we are to move ahead and sign the Association Agreement as it is our joint objective. We obviously stand ready to offer our assistance to Ukraine in pursuing this goal. As I said earlier during this Summit to Ukraine: you are not walking alone.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In Englsih) saying that: The European Union is very much committed to Ukraine's economic growth and modernisation, and we are aware of the economic challenges facing the country. This is why we have agreed on a Macro-Financial Assistance package of 610 million Euros to support Ukraine's balance of payments over the coming years. This is the largest ever Macro-Financial Assistance package and represents a clear demonstration of our support to Ukraine’s prosperity.
||SOUNDBITE by Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine (In Ukrainian) saying that: I would also like to emphasize one the measures taken by Ukrainian public management system; it allowed us today to finally agree on the issue of giving Ukraine the macro financial assistance from the EU to strengthen interaction to improve the investment and warrant in our country and given the expected establishment of the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area” between Ukraine and the EU; another important step has been made today.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Viktor Yanukovych (In Ukrainian) saying that: Today we talked a lot about joint challenges towards energy security and the prospect for deepen cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of energy. Dear ladies and gentlemen, the present agreement is an important step in bilateral relations between Ukraine and the EU and all in all, I'm satisfied with the outcome we had, we understand our objectives and we have a clear plan of joint actions. I state with confidence that Ukraine will take every necessary efforts for the outlined tasks to be fulfilled in time and with good quality.
||Speakers leaving the press room