The European Union reiterates its full support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
The European Union recalls that the implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides remains key to reaching a sustainable political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and underlines the responsibility of the Russian Federation in this regard. The EU welcomes Ukraine’s decision to prolong the Law on Special Status for parts of eastern Ukraine until the end of 2019.
Recalling our statement of 5 November 2014, the EU considers the “elections” planned for 11 November 2018 in the non-government controlled territories of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” as illegal and illegitimate and will not recognise them. The EU condemns these ''elections'', as they are in breach of international law, undermine the commitments taken under the Minsk agreements and violate Ukraine's sovereignty and law. The Minsk agreements exclusively provide for local elections to be held within the framework of the Ukrainian legislation and under the OSCE standards and observation. These reasons render these so-called “elections” null and void.
We expect the Russian Federation to make full use of its considerable influence over the separatists it backs. The provisions of the Minsk agreements should be implemented fully and without further delay, starting with a comprehensive ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons, so as to create the necessary conditions for the political transition through local elections they foresee.
The EU supports the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy format, as well as the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE for facilitating the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Albania*, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
*The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.