6 Feb 2023 11:32

Zelensky says has no doubt Ukraine will be part of Europe

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Ukraine will achieve its European objectives, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said.

"Another Ukraine-EU summit took place in Kiev on Friday, February 3," the Ukrainian media quoted Zelensky as saying in a video address in the early hours of Saturday.

There is understanding that negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union can begin this year, he said.

"Our integration is irreversible and enjoys full support of Europeans. We may accelerate the important integration processes even faster this year," Zelensky said at a press conference after the Ukraine-EU summit in Kiev.

He noted obvious progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement.

"As of now, 72% of our obligations under this Agreement have been fulfilled. We also reported progress in the implementation of European Commission recommendations at the summit," Zelensky said.

"The goal is to begin negotiations as early as this year," he said.

Progress in Ukraine's integration into the EU internal market is an important achievement of the summit, he said.

"We have approved a plan of priority actions for 2023-2024. Its implementation will de facto make Ukraine a EU member at the level of economic sectors, such as industries, agriculture, energy, digital services, transport, finance and customs," Zelensky said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, in turn, she was amazed how Ukraine was progressing towards EU membership. That's phenomenal, von der Leyen said at the end of the Ukraine-EU summit in Kiev on February 3.

Von der Leyen announced the allotment of 5 billion euros for the economic recovery of Ukraine. The first 5 billion euros will be provided for recovery purposes, she said, adding that a special secretariat was already at work to coordinate the processes.

She also said they had discussed how to support energy security. In her words, 5,400 generators had been supplied and assistance had been given in infrastructure repairs to keep the power grid working. She also reminded the audience about the allotment of 50 billion euros by the European Union, including 18 billion to support the Ukrainian budget in regular tranches.

Von der Leyen said they were discussing how to increase revenue of Ukrainian enterprises. First of all, this can be done via solidarity routes, i.e. transport routes from Ukraine to the European Union, she said, noting that 25% of GDP, or 20 billion euros, had been channeled through solidarity routes.