The President of Ukraine met the delegation of Vyshegrad Group countries, represented by Vice Prime Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák, Ministers of foreign affairs of Poland and Chech Republic, Grzegorz Schetyna and Lubomir Zaoralek, as well as deputy Minister of foreign affairs of Hungary, Laszlo Szabo.
The President stressed, that international support, and, particularly, help from the nearest neighbours of Ukraine, i.e. countries of Vyshegrad Group, was extremely important on the way to Ukraine’s European integration. “The experience of each of your countries in certain spheres – such as corruption prevention, reforms in social area, economical reforms, decentralization – is extremely valuable, as it allows us to ease the implementation of positive changes in our country”, Petro Poroshenko said.
The President also noted that positive actions targeted at implementation of pro-European reforms in Ukraine could result in the transformation of Vyshegrad union from the format of four countries to the format of five, Ukraine being the fifth participant. “We believe that as a result of active reforms, the Vyshegrad Four will turn from V4 into V5”.
Petro Poroshenko shared his ambition for achieving some progress in European integration before the next Summit of EU and Eastern Partnership countries, scheduled for the first half of 2015, particularly, in the issues concerning visa regime liberalization and the vision of Ukraine’s EU membership prospects. According to the Ukrainian leader, the transformation of Vyshegrad Four into a Five can become a reality, as Ukraine is willing to demonstrate some results in the area of implementation of reforms. “If we can create appropriate atmosphere before the Summit in Riga, particularly, if we have some success in implementation of reforms, get a visa-free regime with EU, and a clear EU membership prospect, this could allow our countries to join efforts”, Petro Poroshenko noted.
The head of state also informed the foreign affairs ministers of Vyshegrad Group of the humanitarian situation in Donbass, and of the state of fulfillment of Minsk agreements, accenting the Ministers’ attention on the need for fulfillment of all points of Minsk protocol, and noting certain positive trends in peacemaking process.
Diplomats of Vyshegrad Group countries expressed full solidarity with Ukraine in protection of its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and demonstrated their willingness to support certain directions of reforms in Ukraine.
“Each of Vyshegrad Four countries will take responsibility for a certain direction of reforms in Ukraine, and concentrate on their implementation”, stated the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of foreign affairs of Slovakia Miroslav Lajčák. Slovakia, for example, will be responsible for power and security reform sectors in Ukraine, Poland will take responsibility for decentralization, reforms of local self-government, and management of public funds, Chech Republic – for civil society, education, and media, Hungary – for economic policy, development of small and medium business, and creation of free trade zone between Ukraine and EU.
Group participants stressed, that, in spite of certain specialization, the countries of Vyshegrad Four will do everything they can in order to jointly speed up European integration of Ukraine.
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