Brussels – The EU expects Russia to further remove its army from the border with Ukraine, to begin cooperation with the newly-elected President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and to use its influence on the separatists in the eastern regions of Ukraine for the de-escalation of the conflict. This message was put into a statement regarding Ukraine by the heads of states and governments of the European Union, affirmed at the informal summit in Brussels on May 27th. This is the first meeting on the highest level in the EU after the elections to the European Parliament and the presidential elections in Ukraine.
The EU has spotted Chechen mercenaries and Russian professional soldiers in the East of Ukraine and they don’t have any illusions regarding the fact that Russia, so willing, would be able to at least prevent them from coming on Ukrainian territory through its border. This is the message that was put into the statement of the heads of states and governments of the EU affirmed at the informal meeting in Brussels on May 27th.
“The Russian Federation should first and foremost prevent the crossing of the border by separatists and weapon supplies to Ukraine. In light of this and the necessity to find a political solution, we are encouraging the Russian Federation to enter honest and open dialogue,” says the statement.
The informal EU summit lasted until midnight on Tuesday. The heads of European Union member states discussed two main issues: the results of the elections to the European Parliament, including the possible candidates for the post of President of the European Commissions, as well as the situation in Ukraine after the presidential elections there.
The agreements regarding gas reversal with Slovakia have lessened the pressure, however this is insufficient – Barroso
Despite the fact that the EU has spotted Kadirov’s men in Donetsk, the statement at the press conference regarding the results of the meeting made by the current President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso concluded that at the moment the EU’s priority is to maximally support, as much as possible, the achievement of an agreement between Ukraine and Russia regarding the payment of the Ukrainian debt and the new gas prices. The representatives of the EU at the summit tried to avoid discussing the issue of new sanctions publicly.
“The memorandum regarding the understanding as to reverse gas supplies from Slovakia to Ukraine has somewhat lessened the pressure, however this is insufficient. At the moment the EU is involved in talks regarding the achievement of agreements between Ukraine and Russia as to the payments of the Ukrainian debt, the future gas price and the provision of gas transit. I would like to emphasise that fuel cannot be used as a political weapon,” emphasised Barroso.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted at the end of the meeting that the economical sanctions against Russia remain, so to speak, on the European Union’s working table, and their implementation will depend on Russia’s behaviour towards Ukraine.
The President of the European Commission also noted that the EU proposes the opening of the second phase of visa liberalisation with Ukraine. “This is very important for the citizens of Ukraine, it will resonate in the Ukrainian society,” he emphasised.
Barroso listed the various types of financial support for Ukraine, which it will receive in the nearest future from the EU or with its support. This aid includes 11 billion in the form of loans and grants, a second program of macro-financial aid from the IMF, which constitutes 1 billion Euro, the program for support of state reforms summing up to 355 million Euro.
The statement regarding Ukraine affirmed on May 27th in Brussels, as well as the agreements regarding its support will be used as grounds for the meeting of the G7 which will take place on June 4-5 in Brussels.
Meanwhile, as Russia, in light of its military occupation of Ukrainian territory, was exclude from this group of the world’s most influential countries, there were rumours behind the scenes of the informal EU summit that the newly-elected President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko may attend the meeting as a guest. At the moment, however, this information has not been confirmed officially.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina