Source: Government of Ukraine
On December 4, 2019, Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk met with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven. During the meeting, the parties considered a number of key aspects of bilateral cooperation.
The Head of the Ukrainian Government drew particular attention to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project: “The operation of gas pipelines in the territory of the European Union should be strictly aligned with the norms of European law, in particular, the EU gas directive. It is critical to ensure that no exceptions are made by the EU Member States with regards to the Nord Stream 2. It is a matter of energy security within the region and the quality of services provided in the European energy market.”
The Prime Minister of Ukraine also raised the issue of bilateral cooperation between the Swedish and Ukrainian governments: “The Government of Ukraine relies on the support of Sweden in the framework of the Assistance Strategy for Eastern Europe 2021-2027, in particular regarding the plans to set up a network of European Integration Offices in the regions Ukraine. Sweden has experience of implementing a similar project when paving its way towards joining the EU.”
The PM added such Offices would become the space in which Ukrainians can receive advisory assistance and, in general, to learn about the opportunities offered by European integration for the citizens. The Offices will also provide legal advice on the basics of EU law.
In turn, the Prime Minister of Sweden noted: “Ukraine is one of Sweden’s most important partners to promote the development. It is critical for us to support the Government of Ukraine in implementing key reforms in the country, notably the decentralization reform. We are also interested in strengthening bilateral trade. There are about 90 Swedish companies operating in Ukraine. I hope this number will only grow.”
Apart from that, a number of other issues were discussed, inter alia launching the negotiation process on ACAA Agreement.
“At the beginning of next year, a meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council is to take place and we are planning to start the negotiations on the ACAA Agreement – the so-called industrial free visa regime. The agenda will also include sectoral integration into the EU in the following areas: digital, energy, justice and home affairs,” emphasized Oleksiy Honcharuk.
Finally, the Prime Minister of Ukraine thanked his Swedish counterpart for the comprehensive support Sweden provides to Ukraine, in particular on Ukraine’s European integration path, in the decentralization reform and other areas, and invited to participate in the Ukraine Reform Conference due to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2020.