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Political relations between Ukraine and Iraq
25 August 2012 20:13

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, met in Kyiv today for the 21st EU-Ukraine Summit and issued the following statement.

1. We reaffirmed today our continued commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union, on the basis of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. We share common values of democracy, rule of law, respect for international law and human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, as well as gender equality. The EU reiterated its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

2. We welcomed the holding of free and fair presidential elections in Ukraine and looked forward to the parliamentary elections on 21 July. The EU side welcomed that the President of Ukraine had chosen Brussels as the destination of his first visit abroad. Both sides discussed advancing their aforementioned commitments, including through continued close cooperation to meet the expectations that the Ukrainian people have expressed for strengthening the rule of law, advancing reforms and fostering economic growth. We discussed the implementation of the Association Agreement, following its entry into force in September 2017 after the December 2016 decision by the EU Heads of State or Government.

3. In this context, we acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomed its European choice, as stated in the Association Agreement. We agreed to exploit fully the potential of the agreement and stressed the importance of Ukraine continuing to implement its commitments to that end. We welcomed the success of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which has supported the increase of bilateral trade flows by about 50% since the start of its application in January 2016. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, we stressed our shared commitment to widening and deepening our cooperation based on the principles of differentiation, inclusivity and conditionality.

4. Both sides stressed the importance of Ukraine maintaining macro-economic stability, keeping the IMF programme on track and implementing all actions within the EU macro-financial assistance programme, as well as maintaining the independence of the National Bank and the stability of the financial sector. The EU stands ready to disburse the 2nd tranche (EUR 500 million) of the fourth macro-financial assistance programme as soon as relevant conditions are implemented.

5. We underlined the EU's substantial and unwavering support for Ukraine and its link to the effective implementation of reforms and policy measures. We recognised the substantial progress made by Ukraine in its reform process, in areas such as health care, decentralization, pensions, public administration, public procurement, which is essential both to meet the demands of Ukraine's citizens and to strengthen Ukraine's resilience to external challenges. We agreed on the importance of accelerating these efforts, in particular in the fight against corruption, including throughout this election year. Effective rule of law, good governance and economic opportunity are important means to tackle foreign influence and destabilisation attempts. We welcomed the commitment of Ukraine to push back on the disproportionate domestic influence of vested interests on the Ukrainian political, economic and media system (“de-oligarchisation”).

6. Building on successful Ukrainian reforms and international support since the Revolution of Dignity, the EU announced the next phases of programmes to support decentralisation, civil society, the fight against corruption, and other key reforms. The EU will continue to support Ukraine in tackling cyber and hybrid threats, as well as disinformation including through strategic communications. Furthermore, we acknowledged the important assisting roles played by the EU Advisory Mission for civilian security sector reform (EUAM) and by the European Commission Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA).

7. We welcomed two years of successful implementation of the visa-free regime for the citizens of Ukraine and its positive impact on people to people contacts between Ukraine and the EU. We underlined the importance of continuing fulfilling the visa liberalization benchmarks and accelerating reform efforts, in particular in the fight against corruption and as regards judicial and law enforcement institutions. We welcomed the appointment of the judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court and progress towards making the High Anti-Corruption Court operational. We agreed on the urgent need to re-criminalise illicit enrichment and to ensure the necessary independence and effective functioning of all anti-corruption institutions.

8. We welcomed the adoption of the updated energy annex of the Association Agreement. We further agreed on the need to complete gas and electricity market reform, including completion of unbundling, with a view to a progressive integration with the EU energy market. We reaffirmed Ukraine's role as a strategic transit country for gas, ensuring affordable, secure and sustainable supplies to the EU. In this context, we reconfirmed our readiness to engage in a trilateral process facilitated by the European Commission on the contractual framework for gas transit to the EU after 2019. We looked forward to further enhancing economic integration and regulatory approximation in sectors such as digital economy, trade facilitation, customs cooperation and Justice and Home Affairs, within the framework of the Association Agreement. As regards digital, the EU welcomed Ukraine's aspirations to further approximate its legislation with the EU acquis in the area of the digital economy. The EU and Ukraine looked forward to further regular interaction, in particular the EU's ongoing two-phase assessment. The EU welcomed and acknowledged the progress made by Ukraine to approximate its legislation in the area of technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment as envisaged by the AA/DCFTA. Before the EU and Ukraine can start the negotiations on an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products, the EU recalls that the required legislation should be adopted, entered into force and effectively implemented by the relevant Ukrainian institutions.

9. We agreed to improve connectivity between Ukraine, the EU and other countries of Eastern Partnership with a view to facilitating trade, further developing safe and sustainable transport links and supporting people-to-people contacts. We noted the urgency to adopt relevant reform laws in this area, in line with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. We recalled the importance of concluding the Common Aviation Area Agreement at the earliest possible date. We encouraged further cooperation and effective implementation of reforms in other policy areas covered by the Association Agreement, including through legal approximation. We welcomed the increased participation of Ukraine in EU programs, including Horizon 2020, COSME, Creative Europe, Erasmus+ and looked forward to intensifying the relevant cooperation in the framework of current and future programmes.

10. We reiterated our strong condemnation of the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. We continue to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia, the militarisation of the peninsula and the severe deterioration of the human rights situation there. We called on Russia to allow unhindered access of international organisations and human rights actors in accordance with established international mechanisms to the areas currently not under the control of the Government of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula, and to respect international humanitarian law. We called for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia, including Crimean Tatar activists. We remain fully committed to implementing our respective non-recognition policies, including through restrictive measures. We condemned the Russian measures entitling Ukrainian citizens of the areas currently not under the control of the Government to apply for Russian citizenship in a simplified manner. The EU stands ready to consider further options, including non-recognition of Russian passports issued in contradiction to the Minsk agreements, in close coordination with its international partners.

11. We also expressed our utmost concern regarding the escalation at the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, and Russia's violation of international law. In this regard, we noted with regret that Russia has not implemented the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea from 25 May 2019 and urged Russia to comply with its obligations and release without delay the 24 servicemen captured in November 2018 and their vessels. We further called on Russia to ensure unhindered and free passage to and from the Sea of Azov, in accordance with international law. In this context, we welcomed the first concrete steps undertaken by the EU to support the Sea of Azov region, including mine action, psycho-social assistance, infrastructure connections and economic diversification.

12. We agreed to continue cooperating to address the socio-economic and humanitarian consequences of the conflict, highlighting the necessity to ensure the supply of water, electricity and gas across the contact line, to facilitate the movement of people and goods, and to ensure that the people living in areas not under Kyiv's control fully benefit from their rights as citizens of Ukraine. The EU expressed its readiness to support Ukraine's inclusive approach towards its citizens in the affected areas and play a leading role in reconstruction efforts of the country, including in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, once the Minsk agreements have been implemented.

13. We reaffirmed our full support to the endeavours of the Normandy format, the OSCE, including the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and the Trilateral Contact Group. We stressed the importance of enhancing negotiating efforts aimed at the sustainable and peaceful resolution of the conflict in view of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides and of measures aimed at rebuilding confidence while underlining the responsibility of the Russian Federation in this regard. The EU recently renewed its economic sanctions on Russia, whose duration remains clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

14. July 17th will mark 5 years since the tragic downing of flight MH17, which claimed the lives of 298 victims. We looked forward to the effective prosecution of those responsible for this tragedy and called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to cooperate fully with all efforts to establish accountability. In this context, the EU and Ukraine welcome the announcement by the Joint Investigation Team on 19 June 2019 that criminal charges will be brought in the Netherlands against four individuals, call on Russia to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation, and express their full confidence in the independence and professionalism of the legal procedures that lie ahead.


Let me thank the Deputy High Commissioner for her presentation and update.

We highly appreciate the hard work of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The sixth year in a row this Mission, invited by the Ukrainian Government, has been documenting violations and abuses of human rights, international law and international humanitarian law committed by the Russian Federation in the temporary occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea.

Ukraine is open for further cooperation with the Mission and the OHCHR. This year my country has made a voluntary contribution to support the activities of the High Commissioner’s Office.

We hope that the OHCHR will demonstrate perseverance in making Russia cooperate with the UN human rights bodies and monitoring mechanisms, in particular HRMMU, andopen the temporarilyoccupied territories of Crimea and Donbas for permanent international scrutiny.

Today in Crimea, closed to any monitors, according to the 26th OHCHR report, “the Russian Federation continued to apply its laws, in violation of international humanitarian law applicable to an occupying Power, and committing human rights violations, including against detainees, and those seeking access to education in Ukrainian. The rights of the Crimean Tatars have also been particularly affected”.

In addition, with great concern, I have to inform that after the reporting period a whole wave of illegal searches and detentions of the Crimean Tatars took place in Alushta, Bilogorsk and Simferopol districts. Eight more Crimean Tatars – Ruslan Nagayev, Eldar Kantimirov, Ruslan Mesutov, Lenur Khalilov, Riza Omerov, Enver Omerov, Aider Dzhepparov and Eskender Suleymanov – were detained by the occupation administration in the fabricated so called “Hizb ut-Tahrir case”.

Their names have been added to the long list of other Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia under trump-up charges: film-maker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, farmer Volodymyr Balukh, student Pavlo Hryb and many, many others.

Among them, there are 24 Ukrainian sailors who, according to the ITLOS Order of 25 May 2019, had to be immediately released by Russia. The Order which continues to be blatantly disregarded by the Russian Federation.

In the temporary occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in Crimea, Russia stubbornlyimposes its citizenship on the local population, thus violating the norms of international humanitarian law and the sovereignty of Ukraine. In the 26threport, the OHCHR quotes Russia’s President informing about its aim “to protect the rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen”.

Let me remind, Madame Deputy High Commissioner, Russia has not come to Donbas to protect anyone. Russia, as the aggressor state, has come to kill.

Justten days ago, on July 1st, Russian troops committed a war crime by shelling a clearly markedmedical transport vehicle in Vodyane. Two people died, one was badly wounded.

Such appallingbehaviour, in fact, demonstrates Russia’s reaction to the hearings in the ICJ on the Application of the Terrorism Financing Convention and CERD, as well as in the Arbitral Tribunal in the dispute concerning the coastal state rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. It lays bare Russia’s brazen disrespect for international courts and should receive appropriate response.

The volume of international obligations and commitments violated by the Russian Federation has been snowballing. The situation when the country puts itself above the law cannot be accepted or tolerated any longer. The international community must increase pressure on the Russian Federation in order to force it to implement the ITLOS Order of 25 May 2019, the ICJ Order of 19 April 2017, fulfil its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law, implementUN General Assembly resolution on the territorial integrity of Ukraine 68/262 and UNGA resolutions 71/205, 72/190, 73/263 and73/194, as well as recommendations of the OHCHR and treaty bodies with regard to Russian occupation of Ukrainian territories. The Russian Federation must at last open the temporarilyoccupied territories of Donbas and Crimea for permanent international monitoring.

Therefore, Mr. President, human rights situation within the entire territory of Ukraine should continue to be scrutinized by the Human Rights Council.

In this line, my country, together with a group of cosponsors, has tabled a draft resolution, under agenda item 10, aimed at continuation for another two years of the Interactive dialogues on Ukraine, like the one we have today. We count on a wide support of this document.

I thank you.

The Republic of Iraq officially recognized Ukraine on January 1, 1992, and diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Iraq were established on December 16, 1992. The activities of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Iraq were launched in May 2001. Since 2007, the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Ukraine has been operating.

By 2012, the political dialogue between Ukraine and the Republic of Iraq was conducted mainly through participation in the annual sessions of the UN General Assembly, as well as during other international events.

On March 15-18, 2012, at the invitation of the Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine V.M. Lytvyn, a delegation of the Committee on Higher Education and Scientific Researches of the Council of Representatives (Parliament) of the Republic of Iraq visited Ukraine.

On May 28, 2012, regular political consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq were held in Baghdad, during which the topical issues of bilateral cooperation and developments in the Middle East region were discussed.

On November 20-22, 2012, the official visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine K.I.Gryshchenko to the Republic of Iraq took place, the results of which resulted in intensified political dialogue at a high level, prospective directions of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has established an Interparliamentary Relations with the Republic of Iraq in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

On February 27, 2015, the Parliamentary Group of Parliament of Ukraine on Inter-Parliamentary Relations with the Republic of Iraq was created. The head of the group is People's Deputy of Ukraine I.O.Lapin.

On March 8, 2017, a regular round of political consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq at the level of deputy ministers took place in Kyiv.

On November 21-24, 2017, the Delegation of the Parliamentary Group of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Inter-Parliamentary Relations with the Republic of Iraq to Baghdad, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Council of Representatives (Parliament) of the Republic of Iraq, S. Al-Jubur, visited. The delegation met with the leadership of the Iraqi parliament and a number of its committees, as well as with the heads of the 10 ministries of Iraq. A wide range of issues of Ukrainian-Iraqi relations was discussed, and the importance of maintaining a regular inter-parliamentary dialogue to intensify all areas of bilateral cooperation was emphasized.

On November 27-29, 2008, the Iraqi Transport Minister Kadim Finangan Hussein Al-Hamami visited Ukraine, where he discussed with the leadership of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine a wide range of issues related to Ukrainian-Iraqi cooperation in the transport, transport and education sectors, familiarized with the potential of Ukrainian enterprises and educational institutions, announced the opening of direct aviation connection between Baghdad and Kiev.

On October 8-9, 2018, the People's Deputy of Ukraine, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on National Security and Defense Semen Semenchenko, along with his assistant Yevgeny Shevchenko, made a working visit to Baghdad.

During the meetings, an agreement was reached on the establishment of a group of inter-parliamentary relations with Ukraine in the parliament of Iraq, confirming the parties' willingness to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in all directions of mutual interest, readiness for legislative support of efforts that are being made to strengthen their own and international security , economic growth and the welfare of the citizens of both countries.

On April 15, 2019, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yegor Bozhok paid a visit to Baghdad, where he met in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, and discussed prospects for the development of bilateral relations in the political, economic and legal spheres, as well as ways to strengthen the inter-parliamentary dialogue. During the visit, Y. Bojok called on the Iraqi side to demonstrate Ukraine's clearer support on the international scene.

On the same day, Y. Bojka met with the Commander of the NATO Training Mission in the Republic of Iraq, during which a number of issues of bilateral interest in the Euro-Atlantic course, enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine were discussed.

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