Poroshenko: EU-Ukraine deal to come into force in full on Sept 1
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement will come into force in full on September 1, 2017, according to the president's press service.
"It is very important that the EU leaders have done their best for the entry into force and completion of the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement to finally happen. It takes place exactly today and on September 1, the Association Agreement will enter into full force," Poroshenko said in a press statement following the meeting with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the press service reported.
Poroshenko noted that Ukraine was implementing changes to catch up with the countries that had bid farewell to the USSR earlier. He assured that Ukraine would follow this course in the future.
"These are historic days for Ukraine when after receiving the visa-free regime we say the final "farewell" to the USSR and the Russian Empire. Poland, the Baltic states, other countries of Eastern Europe did that 20-25 years ago and now we are doing everything possible to implement the reforms, for which you spent decades, in a very short period of time with your extremely valuable assistance and expertise," he said.
"Ukraine and the EU are closer than ever before. We have never had such a level of trust, cooperation and support. Ukraine is fully committed to the criteria of reforms and the Association Agreement with the EU. It is very important that we continue the implementation of the reforms despite war and a very difficult security situation," he added.
Read alsoNetherlands publishes law on ratification of EU-Ukraine dealThe president reminded that the past two months had been a period of true victories for our country, as the visa-free regime for Ukrainians had been introduced. "It is a pleasure to admit that the EU had kept its word and provided Ukrainians with the visa-free travel opportunities after a very tense program of reforms," he said.
The President of the European Council praised the efforts of Ukraine for the implementation of its pro-European aspirations and thanked Ukraine and its people for the unwavering position. "You managed to get the visa-free regime and I would like to thank you for your pro-European determination and courage with which you defend your independence," he stressed.
"For all your success, even the smallest one, you had to pay with your hard work and, regretfully, blood. You did not get anything for nothing. You deserved everything you achieved. That is why so many of us here, in Europe, admire you and support you, even though I know that it is not always enough. You have the right to expect more. You also have the right to be proud of yourselves," Tusk added.
He emphasized that the Association Agreement would be finalized in a few weeks, which would facilitate further development of Ukraine. "It will become the next step on the way to a secure and stable state, as well as to the growing economy. During this process, you have demonstrated extraordinary patience and consistency. I wish you the same patience and consistency in your efforts aimed to protect Ukraine from corruption and malversation. Once again congratulations and thank you," Tusk said.
Poroshenko expressed gratitude to Tusk for hospitality and expressed hope for the continuation of the fruitful discussion in the course of the 19th Ukraine-EU Summit in Kyiv on July 12-13.