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Meeting of European Commission with Ukrainian govt to be catalyst for further initiatives for years to come – high-ranking EC official

BRUSSELS. Jan 31 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The upcoming joint meeting of the Board of the European Commission and the Government of Ukraine, which will be held this week in Ukraine, will discuss a wide range of bilateral cooperation, as well as provide an opportunity for direct contacts between the parties in order to further catalyze initiatives for years to come.

So, in Brussels on Tuesday , a high-ranking representative of the European Commission described the upcoming meeting to journalists on condition of anonymity, telling about the agenda of the joint meeting. At the same time, he again did not announce the date or place of the meeting, as well as the details of the visit program, referring to the security situation.

According to the high-ranking European, a number of members of the Board (European Commissioners) with President Ursula von der Leyen will make a visit to Ukraine, specifying that this will be the fourth visit for the EC President since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This meeting, he said, as well as the upcoming summit [the Ukraine-EU summit, which will be held on February 3], reflects the strength of the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine … According to him, this will be an opportunity for direct contacts between the Board and their counterparts, catalyzing further initiatives for their continued support and cooperation with Ukraine for years to come.

Among the issues on the agenda, the first EC official named the deepening of sectoral cooperation with Ukraine. He said that this will be the subject of a detailed agenda of the meeting. There will also be a number of bilateral discussions between the Board members and their Ukrainian counterparts, which will also provide an opportunity to deepen personal contacts. The interlocutor of the journalists detailed that they will talk about the support that they have at the moment in order to determine what steps can follow in future cooperation, which is the purpose of the visit.

At the same time, he clarified that it is about financial, humanitarian, budgetary support that exists, the implementation of EU sanctions, the implementation of the Association Agreement and a deep and all-encompassing free trade area and the next steps in the ongoing efforts to reform Ukraine, as well as further bringing Ukrainian legislation into line with European.

Speaking about financial support, the official recalled the existing package of macro-financial assistance for 2023, and Ukraine has already been allocated tranches for January and February. He said that the next would be in March.

With regard to the EU membership process, the discussion will focus primarily on reforms in the area of rule in law and combatting corruption, he said, while dodging the press’ questions as to the purported and proposed deadlines for Ukraine joining the EU.

The agenda of the meetings will involve rebuilding Ukraine’s economy and infrastructure, the official said. The EU has already made a big commitment and intends to play the central role. A multilateral donor committee co-chaired by the EU, U.S. and Ukraine, met last week for the first time and formed relevant agencies, he said.

An important place on Ukraine’s path into the EU is the country’s rapprochement with the EU market, he said. This includes the further removal of barriers to entry for goods and services and harmonizing national legislations on telecommunications, financial services, product safety, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, the official said.