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As an independent country, Ukraine is the master of its own destiny, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherina Ashton says in congratulations to Ukraine on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of acquiring independence. The congratulatory letter is published on the website of the Delegation of the EU to Ukraine.
“It gives me great pleasure to send my warmest congratulations to the Ukrainian people in this important moment of national festivity. This is an occasion to reflect on Ukraine's achievements, the way forward and its vision for the future. As an independent country, Ukraine is the master of its own destiny. As a close partner, the EU has a great interest in the steps that Ukraine is taking, because the future of our relationship will depend first and foremost on Ukraine's own choices,” congratulation says.
As EU representative stresses, Ukraine has accomplished a lot in its recent history. Above all, it has consolidated its statehood and presence on the international scene. “Ukraine set an example for the entire Eastern neighbourhood when it negotiated the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It was also a pioneer among our Eastern partners when it decided to participate in EU-led crisis management operations. As the current holder of the OSCE Chairmanship, Ukraine is particularly well placed to build bridges,” Ashton notes.
As she notes, the Agreements will raise stability of the Ukrainian economy.
“The implementation of the Association Agreement can provide a better business and investment climate in Ukraine. It can improve the quality and competiveness of Ukrainian products. The DCFTA can bring mutual economic gains and offer new opportunities for Ukrainian products and services on the European Union’s huge internal market. It will lead to increased predictability, stability, transparency and risk-reduction, creating better conditions for Ukrainian and foreign businesses. This will ultimately increase employment opportunities for Ukrainians. The genuine motivation for the Agreement should thus be clear for all to see; it is not directed against the interests of any third party”.
She also mentioned that EU is looking forward to cooperation with Ukraine and it will be mutually beneficial: “This year, the European Union and Ukraine have an unprecedented opportunity to make a major leap forward in their relations by signing the Association Agreement, which will also provide for the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. This partnership is mutually beneficial and altogether achievable”.
EU representative expressed confidence that in the coming months, Ukraine will successfully implement the criteria established for the signing of the Association Agreement, including by addressing selective justice and conducting judiciary reform. “The European Union will continue to assist reform efforts. Since 1991, the European Union alone has committed financial assistance to Ukraine of more than € 3 billion. And direct bilateral support from EU Member States comes on top of this,” Ashton notes.
She also assured that the European Union “remains committed to the objective shared with Ukraine of visa-free travel in due course”.