July 7, 2018

European Week of Ukraine

Major Events and Trends in the Development of Ukraine's Cooperation with the European Union and NATO

The key events in the development of the processes of our country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration are the annual EU-Ukraine Summits and NATO-Ukraine meetings at the highest level.

During this year's 20th Ukraine-EU summit on July 9, 2018, they are going to discuss the priorities and progress of the implementation of the Association Agreement and creation of a free trade area, implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as well as the problems of Russia's annexation of the Crimea and provoking a conflict in the Donbas. In the course of consideration of these issues, further prospects of interaction of the parties in the most important directions will be determined. The EU is expected to confirm its position on supporting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and assisting Ukraine in restoring the Donbas after establishing peace in the region.

On the eve of the summit, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine H. Mingarelli outlined some conditions that Ukraine must fulfill in order to successfully implement the Association Agreement with the EU. The most important among them being: effective fulfillment by Ukraine's state bodies of their functions in the preparation of relevant bills; close coordination between the government and parliament; making a clear list of priorities for fulfilling the tasks of the Association Agreement for each year; informing the Ukrainian society about the essence of the Agreement and its contribution to the development of the country.

EU support to reforms in Ukraine EU support to reforms in Ukraine EU support to reforms in Ukraine
EU support to reforms in Ukraine

 

In turn, the main result of the working session of the North Atlantic Council with Ukraine, scheduled within the framework of the NATO summit on July 11–12, 2018, should be a confirmation of the Euro-Atlantic prospects of our state, as well as the North Atlantic Alliance's support to it.

A working session of the North Atlantic Council with Ukraine is scheduled for July 11–12, 2018

A working session of the North Atlantic Council with Ukraine is scheduled for July 11–12, 2018

In turn, Ukraine will present a package of initiatives to deepen cooperation with NATO, including by increasing the number of Ukrainian military participating in the Alliance's operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. In addition, they will discuss a wide range of issues related to the reform of the Ukrainian defense sector, security in the region, as well as the Crimea and Donbas.

Ukraine's aspiration to join NATO is supported by the leadership of the Alliance. According to NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg, the North Atlantic Alliance's door remains open to Ukraine and Georgia, as well as other countries that wish to join it. At the same time, he condemned Russia's efforts to restore global spheres of influence and emphasized it had no influence on the Alliance's politics (including on the Organization's enlargement) and the decisions of other countries to become NATO members.

Against this background, a negative factor for Ukraine is the position of Hungary, which continues to create obstacles in the process of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration. Thus, under the obvious influence of Russia, the leadership of Hungary gave up the compromise on the language problem that was achieved during the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the two countries on June 22, 2018. According to the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary on July 4, 2018, Budapest will block the adoption of any document based on the results of the Ukraine-NATO meeting. Despite this, the leadership of the Alliance has confirmed the steadfastness of its intentions to provide political and practical support to Ukraine, despite the Hungary’s position.

 

Most Important Issues Concerning the Interests of Ukraine and the EU and NATO

Western countries and international organizations remain on Ukraine's side also in the issue of its confrontation with Russia.

Thus, during the Conference (”Making Peace in Donbas — The Role of a Peacekeeping Mission”) in the European Parliament on June 28, Hans-Dieter Lucas, Permanent Representative of Germany to NATO, spoke on the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission throughout the conflict zone, with the task of facilitating the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. At this, he condemned the position of Russia, which calls for the mandate of the mission to be limited only to the protection of OSCE observers.

A Conference themed “Making Peace in Donbas — The Role of a Peacekeeping Mission” was held in the European Parliament on June 28, 2018
A Conference themed “Making Peace in Donbas — The Role of a Peacekeeping Mission” was held in the European Parliament on June 28, 2018

A Conference themed “Making Peace in Donbas — The Role of a Peacekeeping Mission” was held in the European Parliament
on June 28, 2018

The support to Ukraine is also demonstrated by the United States. According to White House Representative Hogan Gidley's statement of July 3, US President D. Trump has a clear position regarding the Crimea and will never go to recognition of its “Russian” status. Besides, D. Trump has no doubt about Russia's interference in the US presidential election in 2016, although he well understands that Moscow does not admit its crimes either before Washington or Kyiv.

 

Other Aspects of Cooperation Between Ukraine and Its Western Partners

Taking into consideration political and economic interests of Ukraine, it is good for our state that Russia keeps getting more and more problems with implementation of its plans to lay new gas pipelines bypassing the Ukrainian territory.

The Zug Superior Court, Switzerland, has re-instated attachment of Gazprom's shares in Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG

The Zug Superior Court, Switzerland, has re-instated attachment of Gazprom's shares in Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG

The Zug Superior Court, Switzerland, has re-instated attachment of Gazprom's shares in Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG. These attachments will stay in place until the Zug Superior Court decides on Naftogaz’ appeal against the local debt enforcement office's earlier decision to lift the share attachments.

The leadership of Poland continues to speak against the Nord Stream 2 project. In the words of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the commissioning of a new gas pipeline will give Russia a powerful lever of influence not only on the EU economy, but also on its policy. In this regard, he called for the transformation of the European Union's energy strategy, namely to combine financial and economic interests of the Organization with geopolitical realism, taking into account the growing threats from Moscow.

At the same time, the European Commission confirmed the EU's intention to mediate the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on the issue of transit of Russian gas via the Ukrainian territory. The meeting is scheduled for July 17, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The issues will be discussed on the duration of the new agreement and basic transit parameters, including the minimum annual gas flow rate, tariff level and possible guarantees. According to the EU's position, Ukraine should remain an important transit country after the completion of the contract with Gazprom on January 1, 2019.