The visit was the Prime Minister's first to Brussels since his appointment in April 2016 and his first meeting with the HR/VP in his new capacity. It provided an opportunity for the High Representative to reconfirm the European Union's unwavering commitment to a strong, deep and broad partnership with Ukraine.
One-hundred days after his appointment, the Prime Minister presented the state of play of his government's reform agenda and its implementation. Welcoming the achievements, the High Representative particularly appreciated that the fight against corruption remains at the heart of the reform process and its implementation. The European Union will continue to support the impressive reform agenda of the Ukrainian authorities, including financially - adding to the €7 billion in grants and loans since 2014, technically - through expertise, and with personnel, also through the continued deployment of the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Sector Reform. The HR/VP echoed the sentiments of the Prime Minister that such an ambitious reform agenda demonstrates a much-needed commitment to the Ukrainian people: to raise their standard of living and to provide for a more equal, fair and open society.
The HR/VP and the Prime Minister also discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements, particularly in light of an upsurge in violence in the east of Ukraine over the last two days, in which several Ukrainians lost their lives. The EU continues to support full implementation of the Minsk agreements as well as Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The European Union has recently prolonged its sanctions on Russia and has a strong and continued commitment to practical measures in support of the peace process, notably through ongoing assistance to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
The High Representative once again congratulated the Prime Minister for Ukraine having fulfilled all the benchmarks necessary for short-stay, visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens. This impressive achievement, which has been recognised by the European Commission in its proposal to lift visa requirements, should result in a positive outcome in the Council and the European Parliament in the autumn.
Finally, the High Representative took the opportunity to reassure the Prime Minister, and through him the Ukrainian people, that the ratification and full entry into force of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement remains a top priority. A solution to the current situation is being sought as announced by the European Council in June.