Yesterday, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser met with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. Mikser and Poroshenko affirmed the good relations between the two countries and discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine, the Ukraine reform process, and integration with the EU.
Minister Mikser expressed Estonia’s continuous support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine continues, but both Estonia and the EU stand up for Ukraine,” Mikser emphasised. “As long as Ukraine’s territorial integrity has not been restored, and military action in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea continues, the West needs to continue with unified and principled policy, including with sanctions against Russia,” he stressed. According to Mikser, it is also important to guarantee that the OSCE monitors have safe access to the whole conflict area.
Minister Mikser welcomed the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU entering into force recently, which, according to Mikser, demonstrates the EU’s desire to deepen political and economic cooperation with Ukraine. “A Ukraine that is close to the EU is in the interests of all of us and it is important to continue to follow this path,” the Minister said. “Now we have to focus on implementing the agreement which, among other things, requires significant reforms; and make maximum use of the opportunities opened by it,” Mikser emphasised. The Minister emphasised the fight against corruption and the improvement of the business climate and the judicial system in particular.
Talking about the Eastern Partnership summit taking place in Brussels in November, Minister Mikser affirmed that the Eastern Partnership is one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU. “The Estonian Presidency gives us an opportunity to focus political attention on the Eastern Partnership. We must use the Eastern Partnership summit to reaffirm our common political commitment and plan concrete steps that would encourage all of our Eastern Partners to drive forward the reforms and thereby get closer to the EU,” Mikser said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister is also going to meet with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Minister Mikser will also speak at the Eastern Partnership Media Conference, which is one of the four Eastern Partnership summit side events taking place during the Estonian Presidency.