Ukraine welcomes today's decision of the EU Council to initial the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU and expresses its gratitude to the European partners and friends who made significant efforts for preparing, signing and ratifying of the Agreement and confirmed once again their true commitment to the European choice of the people of Ukraine.
This decision of the EU Council is of particular importance, since its adoption took place on the eve of the 19th Ukraine-EU Summit that will be held in Kyiv on July 12-13, 2017. Thus, Ukraine and the European Union laid the crucial groundwork for the successful holding of the Summit, which consists of the introduction of the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens and finalized ratification process of the Association Agreement.
We underline that 10 years since the start of the negotiations on the Association Agreement prior to its entry into force have radically changed our country. The initiated long-expected internal reforms have become irreversible and systemic, and European integration in the minds of people has become synonymous of movement towards democracy, freedom and high living standards.
September 1, 2017, which is the date of full entry into force of the Agreement, will become a significant date in our country’s modern history, the day of our honor and thanks to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and millions of Ukrainians who continue to defend on the eastern borders of the Continent the freedom, independence and common European values.
The Association Agreement along with the visa-free regime is our first, but confident step on the path of Ukraine's full-fledged and steady existence in the European home. The successes of our country inspire us to continue the course aimed at implementing internal reforms and having achievements of further ambitious goals. Indeed, as it enshrined in the Association Agreement, it leaves open the future development of Ukraine-EU relations.