In a resolution published on January 21, the European Parliament welcomes the progress in Ukraine on its “chosen path of closer political and economic integration with the European Union”, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the statement on the official site of the European Parliament.
MEPs called on Russia to end its direct or indirect involvement in conflict in Ukrainian territory, including its occupation of Crimea.
The European Parliament also condemned Russia’s suspension of its free trade agreement with Ukraine on January 1, 2016, when the EU-Ukraine free trade deal entered into force. MEPs deplored the “heavy trade restrictions” on Ukraine’s exports to Russia, expressed concerns about Ukraine’s economic and financial standstill and reiterated that the country’s economy needs further EU financial assistance.
It should be stressed that MEPs called on EU member states to avoid building new gas pipelines from Russia that bypass Ukraine, such as “Nord Stream II”.
MEPs said that they expect Ukraine’s leadership to fulfill its commitments to fight “endemic” corruption, which, they say, remains the biggest challenge to its reform efforts.
MEPs also “took note” of the upcoming Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine agreement. They “trust that the decision of the Dutch people will be taken on the basis of the merits of the agreement, recognising its tangible effects on the EU and the Netherlands in particular”.
It should be recalled that on December 18, 2015, the European Commission approved the last (the sixth) report on Ukraine’s implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP).