Ostap Semerak: Ukraine is ready to launch active dialogue with EU on “Marshall Plan”
“Ukraine is ready to launch an active dialogue at both the governmental and the public levels regarding the “Marshall Plan”. This should become the working agenda for dialogue “Ukraine-EU”, Ostap Semerak, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, stated during the 10th Kyiv Security Forum held by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine.
Ostap Semerak reminded that representatives of the European People’s Party had shaped the task for the EU members to develop a long-term support plan for Ukraine.
“I hope that this idea will finally get a practical implementation. During the work Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s Government, we approached the development of such “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine. Today, when many Ukrainian reforms are irreversible, we need to actualize it”, he noted.
The official made his suggestions with regard to certain provisions of the future instrument and the expectations of Ukraine from the EU. “The first task is the implementation of the commitments. If the EU has mutual agreements with Ukraine, one should fulfill the promises as soon as the criteria are met. The delay with a positive decision on visa liberalization caused by the EU’s internal problems, despite the fact that Ukraine has fulfilled the requirements, was one of the biggest EU’s mistakes after the Maidan”, he noted.
“Secondly, the assistance in reforming and strengthening of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is being successfully carried out by the Ukrainian authorities, should be increased. They have already become the object of reform and there is a clear progress in this area. Contrary to the popular in Europe belief, the Minsk agreements are not the guarantee of peace in Ukraine, but this guarantee consists in modern and reformed Ukrainian army. In particular, we expect the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine”, Ostap Semerak added.
He also stressed the need for active engagement of European experts in the work of public authorities of Ukraine.
“We expect the support of small and medium-sized businesses. We are looking for access to European financial resources and European markets. We expect investments in Ukraine’s economy despite the conflict in the East of Ukraine... Besides, after Russia imposed the trade embargo on Ukraine the Ukrainian producers have lost access to the Russian market. Therefore, the opening of the European markets would significantly stimulate our domestic economy”, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine concluded.
Kyiv Security Forum was launched by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is an annual international event to high-level discussions on the current issues in the Black Sea region and wider Europe. The Forum aims at increasing security cooperation between the EU and the Black Sea region, raising awareness about regional developments among key regional players, promoting the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.