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  • 16/12/2015
  • 19:30
  • Statements and remarks
  • 945/15
  • Foreign affairs & international relations

Dear President Poroshenko, Dear President Juncker. Dear Petro and Jean-Claude,

One year ago when I hosted my first European Council, EU leaders pledged to stay the course on Ukraine. And we have done so, working to help stabilise the situation and making sure that Ukraine's own efforts are transforming the country in a positive direction.

Our policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol is in force. And our economic sanctions against Russia will remain linked to the complete fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements.

Beyond the crisis, the European Union has been supporting Ukraine in its ambitious, and absolutely crucial, agenda of political and economic reforms. Reforms have started to bring results, but still we continue to expect a lot from the Ukrainian authorities in the months to come.

We are lending economic and technical support and have engaged, through the efforts of Jean-Claude and the Commission, on securing Ukraine's energy supplies. We are making sure that the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement will enter into force as smoothly as possible from the 1st of January next year. This will lead to the gradual economic integration of Ukraine in the EU internal market.

Finally, Ukraine has made good progress over past months with regard to visa liberalisation, which should allow us to advance towards a visa-free regime as soon as possible. I hope we can find an agreement on the outstanding issues this evening.

To sum up. Europe will stay the course. Ukraine must stay the course of reforms. And Russia must change its course.