The Visegrad Group countries reiterated their strong support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and confirmed the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. They further expressed their support for the recent ceasefire in Donbas as of September 1 and called upon all sides to abide by it and restrain from actions which destabilize the situation in the region. The Prime Ministers agreed that the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements by all sides is the basis for a peaceful settlement in the Eastern Ukraine.
The Visegrad Group countries expressed their strong support for prompt finalization of the process of ratification of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, between the European Union and Ukraine.
The Government of Ukraine will do its utmost to swiftly fulfil commitments ensuing from the provisionally applicable Association Agreement with the EU especially in regard to fight against corruption, decentralization reform, macro financial reform, reform of public administration and state structures, support of small and medium enterprises and reform of the energy sector, including measures such as unbundling of national company responsible for oil and natural gas sector, implementation of law on natural gas market or adoption of law on energy efficiency. The Visegrad Group countries offered their support to the reform efforts made in this context.
The Prime Ministers stressed the need for continued cooperation towards building a modern state in Ukraine, based on stable and transparent institutions.
Multilateral assistance to Ukraine is granted by the Visegrad Group through the International Visegrad Fund’s grant and scholarship programmes. Projects concentrate on areas such as democratization, social and economic transformation and modernisation, European integration, building of civil society, regional cooperation and development of public administration. Ukraine is the biggest non-V4 recipient of support from the Fund. Moreover, Visegrad Group members allocate assistance to Ukraine bilaterally.
The Visegrad Group countries and Ukraine welcomed the continuation of the V4’s Civil Servants Mobility Programme initiated in 2014, aimed at helping to create a modern, transparent state in Ukraine and in other partner countries, by sharing V4 expertise.
The Visegrad Group and Ukraine assessed positively the ‘V4 Roadshow in Ukraine’ initiative, dedicated to supporting reforms in Ukraine. Up to date, four meetings have been conducted in the framework of this initiative. Poland organized the first meeting on decentralization in Chernihiv in April 2015. In October 2015 a round table on educational reform, led by the Czech Republic, was held in Chernivtsi. In February 2016 the Slovak Republic held a conference on energy efficiency in Lviv, followed by conference on small and medium enterprises organized by Hungary in Vinnytsia in April 2016. The possible continuation of this initiative is currently being discussed.
The freedom of movement fosters exchange of thought, experiences and ideas. Ukraine has fulfilled all the necessary benchmarks for the visa liberalization. Taking into account the EU’s credibility, the Visegrad Group countries will continue to support the swift conclusion of a visa-free regime between the European Union and Ukraine.
The Visegrad Group countries and Ukraine are interested in developing their cooperation in the field of energy aimed, in particular, at source diversification, market integration and strengthening security of supply of gas, oil and electricity. The Visegrad Group countries and Ukraine will further endeavor to develop transport infrastructure to connect the Ukrainian transportation network with the Trans-European Transport Network, as these would foster economic cooperation between partners and, in consequence lead to the stabilization of the region.
Source: Office of the Government of the Czech Republic