Dear Ministers, dear Heads of Delegations, dear all,

First of all thank you very much for coming to this event. Two years ago, Russia started its brutal full-scale war against Ukraine and its people. It has caused immense destruction and suffering, as well as unspeakable loss of life. As we remember the victims and salute the Ukrainian heroes of this war who are fighting for freedom, we reiterate the European Union’s continued support for restoring Ukraine’s full sovereignty and territorial integrity within its 1991 borders. Since the start of this illegal aggression, the EU has provided Ukraine with more than €88 billion in humanitarian, financial, economic and military support.

The Ukraine Facility, with a total budget of €50 billion, will provide Ukraine with regular and predictable financial support between now and 2027. The first disbursement will follow shortly in early March. This crucial funding will help Ukraine in its recovery, reconstruction and reforms, including those needed on the path towards EU membership. It will also help to keep its administration running, pay salaries and pensions, as well as maintain basic public services.

The European Union and its Member States have also provided substantial military support. To date, this amounts to more than €28 billion. The EU is not alone in supporting Ukraine. I would like to thanks to all international allies and friends of the EU and Ukraine for all kind of support. We make history standing to the right side of this fight of the nations to decide its destiny.

By the end of 2024, we will have delivered more than 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine and trained 60 000 Ukrainian soldiers on EU soil. Along with the EU’s substantial financial and military support, we have acted to support Ukraine’s external trade, notably the Autonomous Trade Measures and Solidarity Lanes. We also have a comprehensive agenda in the Priority Action Plan that leverages the Association Agreement to bring Ukraine close to the EU single market, and acts as a bridge for Ukraine’s accession.  · To put it bluntly, Russia simply cannot be trusted. Since its illegal invasion of Crimea 10 years ago, Russia has breached almost 400 international treaties, demonstrating its utter untrustworthiness. This also goes for the WTO, where the EU, together with like-minded Members, has suspended the application of the “most favoured nation” (MFN) principle vis-à-vis Russia and has refrained from any bilateral engagement with Russia. International alliances must be built on a rules-based system.

Russia has also been engaged in a war of disinformation at the WTO and within the territory of many its member states – including by stirring up provocations at farmers’ protests in the EU. It blames international sanctions for rising food insecurity, rather than its own unilateral decision to terminate the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, its deliberate attacks on Ukraine’s grain storage and export facilities, or its actions to hinder the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. We have joined forces with Ukraine and other like-minded members to counter these lies in all bodies of the WTO.

With crucial support of international partners, Ukraine is winning back the Black Sea, with its brave and innovative sea power being deployed to establish a safe Ukrainian grain corridor for global shipping, including the shipping of crucial food supplies to Africa. The European Union will continue to support efforts to facilitate exports of Ukraine’s grain and other agricultural products to those countries most in need, notably in Africa and the Middle East. We will continue to do whatever it takes – for Ukraine to prevail. We will not waver in our support. We are inspired by your remarkable resilience and unshaken will to prevail and rebuild.

Ukraine belongs to Europe; Ukraine’s future is in the EU. It has chosen a European path, already 10 years ago during the Maidan Revolution, and this is the best security guarantee for Ukraine and for the EU. Your security is our security! Now I invite Mr Markiyan Dmytrasevych, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Policy and Food and Mr Dmytro Senik, Ambassador of Ukraine to the UAE, to come to the podium and the Minister will also share a few words with us.

Source: European Commission

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