Brussels, 24 March 2014
Ukraine: Decentralisation and support for regions important part of EU help
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Governor of the Donetsk region Serhiy Taruta in Brussel today.
They exchanged views on the current situation in the country and discussed challenges in the Donetsk region and the rest of the East of Ukraine.
Governor Taruta, who was appointed to his office at the beginning of March, explained the economic, social and security situation in the region and outlined his priorities in tackling the existing problems by introducing reforms, increase transparency, strengthen the rule of law and developing more cooperation with Ukraine´s EU neighbours.
Commissioner Füle stressed that the signature of the Association Agreement was a renewed stimulus for reforms and more intense cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, not only with the central authorities in Kyiv but also in the regions. "Our support to decentralisation and to regions is part of our help offered to Ukraine. We will discuss these issues also during my forthcoming visit to Kyiv this week," Commissioner Füle said. In the meeting he also repeated the position of the European Union regarding the annexation of Crimea by Russian, which the EU considers illegal. He also recalled that the Association Agreement not only respects traditional trade and economic ties between Ukraine and Russia but also creates opportunities for their further intensification.