At the press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council, HRVP Federica Mogherini spoke about the EU-Ukraine relations. In particular, Ms Mogherini has touched the issues of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the EU's support of the reform process in Ukraine and the implementation of the DCFTA.
Extracts from the press conference:
"Last but not at all least, we had a discussion on Ukraine, restating our full and united support to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements but focusing this time, maybe for the first time in this clear and focused way, not only and not so much on the Minsk implementation but on the reform process inside Ukraine and especially the reform of the judiciary, the reform of the public administration sector, the decentralisation reforms and recognising the incredible, outstanding work that the Ukrainian authorities have done over the past months to move forward the reform agenda with very concrete steps.
We shared also the assessment that this works needs to continue, especially with the provisional application of DCFTA since 1 January, that the need for us to support the Ukrainian authorities in a better coordinated way between the European Union and Member States to make sure that the reform agenda continues, especially that it is implemented, and that the benefits of the reform agenda manage to reach the Ukrainian people, who just two years ago, exactly two years ago, were in Maidan asking for reforms and changes in their society.
So, time for the agenda to deliver - in very difficult circumstances - but this is exactly the meaning of our engagement with Ukraine to support and to sustain in I hope, I believe, an effective way."
"I started by saying that we were all united in applauding and encouraging the outstanding work that the Ukrainian authorities have done in the past months in order to introduce and start implementing reforms, so there is no doubt in this respect. This does not mean that we should not look at ways to first of all, encourage, support and sustain the reforms inside Ukraine from a social, financial, and a political point of view, without substituting the Ukrainian authorities, the government, the President, the Parliament, the local authorities or the political system. We must actively support this process because I think we have learnt from the past from the present. Once you start a process there is never enough, you also need to continue focusing on how you can better make it sustainable internally, externally and in the region. There is not at all a shift of focus: we have always said and continue to say that the Minsk Agreements need to be fully implemented by all sides. As you very well know, the decision by the Council last December to roll-over the sanctions against Russia for another six months was a clear sign of this continued commitment, of which there is no doubt."