21 Aug 2023 12:43

Ukraine to take every step coordinated with European Commission before Oct, reforms to go on - deputy PM

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) - Ukraine will take every step coordinated with the European Commission before October, while continuing related reforms, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Minister Olga Stefanishina said.

"My message was that the seven recommendations concern fundamental, basic reforms, which serve as a pillar of a democracy. So, Ukraine will do what's envisaged by the recommendations and approved points," Stefanishina told Ukrainian reporters to explain her earlier statement that Ukraine would take every coordinated step while not meeting recommendations of the European Commission before October 100%.

In her words, Ukraine has achieved a substantial number of targets "but the reforms themselves, such as the judiciary reform, measures against corruption and de-oligarchization, should be continuous and have no final date."

"Every step coordinated in the context of the seven recommendations will be taken. Yet this does not mean we will stop fighting corruption, carrying out the judiciary reform or taking systemic measures towards de-oligarchization once the seven recommendations are met," Stefanishina said.

As to whether Ukraine might fail to meet certain points of the seven recommendations before October while agreeing with partners that its progress would be taken into account even in this case, Stefanishina said that was not on the table.

"The main unrealized task is the implementation of de-oligarchization laws. The recommendation envisages the full implementation of the current law on the fight against oligarchs. However, given the conclusions of the Venice Commission, Ukraine and the European Commission agreed that we would focus on systemic measures. That decision was made before the oral assessment of the European Commission," she said.

There is an agreement with partners that Ukraine will focus on related systemic measures, including the enhancement of the Anti-Monopoly Committee, the funding of political parties and the implementation of media market laws, Stefanishina said.

"So, we are hoping that the European Commission will present progress on this recommendation in October exactly in this manner. I do not see any red lines for Ukraine in relation to other recommendations," she said.

Ukraine has made progress in the fight against corruption and the Constitutional Court reform, Verkhovna Rada decisions on the amendment of laws against terrorism financing and money laundering are pending, and amendments on ethnic minorities, which implement the conclusions of the Venice Commission, have been registered in the parliament, she said.

"Whenever I speak about 100%, we have to understand that the implementation of every recommendation is a matter of interpretation, including that by each EU member state. For now, we have a list of steps coordinated with the European Commission, we are making progress, and we will fulfill them. However, any EU member state may ask additional questions or set additional criteria, as Hungary has done in the case of ethnic minorities," Stefanishina said.