In the course of the meeting with Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, President Petro Poroshenko discussed prospects of expanding bilateral relations between the countries and Belgium’s support for Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity on the track of European integration.
The parties paid special attention to the coordination of actions in the process of implementation of the Minsk agreements, support for the position of Ukraine at the meeting of the EU Council, coordination of actions in the course of the joint steps in the initiative of establishing the international tribunal for the investigation of the MH17 tragedy, which must be approved by the UN Security Council’s decision.
The President thanked Belgium for its position on the necessity of unconditional and full implementation of the Minsk agreements, as well as the issue of sanctions. “It is a real contribution of Belgium to the de-escalation in Donbas,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The President also expressed gratitude for promoting the implementation of political aspects of the Minsk agreements within the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, particularly on the liberation of Ukrainian citizens illegally imprisoned in Russia – Nadiya Savchenko, Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko.
The President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Belgium agreed on the continuation of consultations on the investigation of the MH17 tragedy within the international investigative group, which includes Ukraine and Belgium.
The parties exchanged views on the Ukraine-EU agenda. The President emphasized the importance of completing the process of ratification of the Association Agreement by the EU member states by the end of 2015. “It will be a symbolic gesture of solidarity with Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said. Charles Michel assured that Belgium will complete the internal procedures for the ratification of the Agreement shortly.
The President underlined the importance of Belgium’s support in the liberalization of the visa regime between Ukraine and the EU. “The importance of ensuring successful results of the EU assessment missions was emphasized,” the President said and informed that he had received firm support from President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk. The Head of State thanked the Prime Minister of Belgium for the active involvement of Belgian experts in the above mentioned missions.
The Prime Minister of Belgium praised the efforts of Ukraine in the implementation of reforms, inter alia, constitutional reform, which will be considered in the Ukrainian Parliament on August 31.
The parties agreed to develop the existing opportunities of bilateral trade-economic cooperation and hold a meeting of the intergovernmental bilateral commission shortly. According to the President, Ukrainian-Belgian investment cooperation has great potential.
The President invited the Prime Minister of Belgium to make an official visit to Ukraine at his convenience. The invitation was gratefully accepted.
In his turn, Charles Michel noted that Belgium will insist on the need for supporting Ukraine within the EU.
Charles Michel emphasized: “Belgium will consistently uphold the policy of sanctions against Russia despite the fact that it negatively affects our country. Principles are of greater importance for us”.
Also, the Prime Minister emphasized that Belgium will carefully monitor the security situation and insist on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. “Liberation of hostages, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, OSCE presence are the only way to resolve the conflict,” Charles Michel said.
“We are now on the upswing of our political, diplomatic and economic relations and we are getting closer to each other in terms of values,” the Belgian Prime Minister stated following the negotiations.