The Lithuania-Ukraine Presidential Council will take place at a difficult time for Ukraine – military aggression is continuing in the country’s eastern parts, ceasefire agreement is being constantly breached, the number of human rights violations in occupied Crimea is growing while Ukraine faces threats of economic and energy blockade.
The presidents will address Ukraine’s readiness to implement the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union that will enter into force starting 2016, the implementation of economic and legal reforms, and the fight against corruption. The cultural cooperation programme for 2016-2020 will be signed during the visit.
Lithuania is a strong proponent of Ukraine’s integration in the EU and is assisting the implementation of necessary reforms by sharing experience, providing expertise and financial help. Lithuania has allocated EUR 1.5 million in assistance for Ukraine’s governmental sector reforms and in aid to victims of the armed conflict.
Next, Grybauskaitė and Poroshenko will open the first Lithuania-Ukraine Economic Forum in Vilnius. The two countries have strengthened their trade ties – in five years bilateral trade has increased by 54 percent and now exceeds EUR 1 billion.
The president of Ukraine is also going to meet with Parliament Speaker Loreta Graužinienė and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.