Ukraine and the European Union held the fourth meeting of the Association Council on the 08th day of December, 2017 in Brussels. This was the first meeting of the Association Council since the entry into force of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, on the 01st day of September, 2017, as well as the introduction of a visa-free regime for the Ukrainian citizens traveling to the EU on the 11th day of June, 2017.
In the Joint Statement of the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the High Representative of the EU on foreign affairs and security policy, according to the results of the meeting of the Association Council, the EU has confirmed its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. It was stated, that Ukraine presented its own initiative to create the international group of friends of the Ukrainian Crimea. The Association Council condemned Russia’s ongoing militarization of the peninsula and deterioration of situation related to the human rights, including a ban on the Mejlis as a body of self-government of the Crimean Tatars, and the prosecution of those who do not recognize the illegal annexation. The Association Council called for the immediate release of all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine in the illegally annexed peninsula and in Russia.