Ukraine expects quick steps in the first half of 2024 to launch EU accession negotiations, including the approval of the negotiation framework and the first intergovernmental conference, and calls on the EU to increase arms supplies, approve a long-term support programme, confiscate Russian assets and cut off supplies of critical components to Russia.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that on Monday, 22 January, during his speech at the first EU Foreign Affairs Council of the year.
Dmytro Kuleba drew the attention of EU ministers to the escalation of Russia’s air terror and called on them to increase and accelerate military support for our country.
"Strengthening air defence remains a priority. Patriots, NASAMS, IRIS-T and SAMP-T are acronyms that save entire cities and thousands of lives. I also call for accelerating the delivery of artillery shells, drones of all types and long-range missiles with a radius of 300+ kilometers. The more shells, the lower the losses; the longer the radius, the shorter the war will be," said Dmytro Kuleba.
The Foreign Minister recalled the need to create a common space for European defence industries and a European defence hub in Ukraine.
The Minister welcomed the historic decision to launch negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU and called for a speedy start of the negotiations. He informed his colleagues about the progress in implementing all four legislative steps set out by the European Commission, which should form the basis for the approval of the negotiation framework.
"We have to keep up the pace by screening the legislation and preparing the negotiation framework. We expect that it will be approved as soon as possible, immediately after the European Commission assesses Ukraine's implementation of the four steps in the coming months, which will allow us to hold the first intergovernmental conference in the first half of this year," the Ukrainian Foreign Minister stressed.
Minister stressed the importance of the European Council's approval on 1 February of a €50 billion long-term financing programme for Ukraine.
"This funding is important for financial stability, the functioning of state institutions and the economy of Ukraine against the backdrop of Russian aggression. Its approval will be the best investment in Europe's security," he stressed.
Dmytro Kuleba noted that Russia is still able to obtain some technologies and equipment, including chips and microcircuits, which it uses to produce weapons.
"We need a ban on the supply of dual-use goods and a number of civilian goods that Russia uses to produce weapons. Your countries have some of the best financial intelligence in the world, which is able to detect and block the relevant business schemes," the Minister said.
Dmytro Kuleba expressed hope that the next package of sanctions against Russia will be approved soon, and that the work on finding mechanisms to use Russia’s frozen assets for Ukraine's recovery will be successful.
"All blocked Russian assets should be used to compensate for the consequences of Russian aggression, defence and restoration of Ukraine. Ways to implement this decision can and should be found by the EU together with the Group of Seven. There are all international legal grounds for this. Russia has been recognized as an aggressor in a number of UN General Assembly resolutions, and therefore bears responsibility for compensation for the damage caused. There is no fairer solution than to do this by using frozen Russian assets," the Foreign Minister said.
Addressing his European counterparts on the 105th anniversary of the proclamation of the Unification Act, Dmytro Kuleba stressed that today this day has a double meaning for the unity of the Ukrainian people and the unity of Ukraine and Europe.