Commissioner Johansson’s statement at a Joint Press Point with Mr Ihor Klymenko, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
Thank you, Minister Klymenko.
Ukraine has been, for 450 days now, on the front-line. That front line defends Ukraine, and it defends Europeans ideals and values. As shown this week, we remain 100% resolute in our support.
President von der Leyen‘s presence in Kyiv on Europe Day personifies this commitment. A commitment to make sure Ukraine wins against this illegal invasion. Against the crimes of Putin and his regime.
And for a future based on Ukraine‘s rightful place as part of the European family.
A secure Ukraine means a secure EU.
The Commission set out seven steps that Ukraine needs to take before launching of the accession negotiations. I’m impressed by how far Ukraine has come. Ukraine is working very well on these seven steps including on rule of law. We are supporting them all the way.
I was here at the start of August last year with Minister Monastyrskyi. What I have seen today from Minister Klymenko, the Interior Ministry, and the Government, is that his memory is being honoured in the best way – through courage and resolve.
Courage for which Ukraine has become famous this past year. Thank you Ihor for your commitment and your warm welcome. My visit today is to continue the close work with partners on security for Ukraine.
You, Minister have very long experience in law enforcement. Experience that you are now applying in this crucial role.
There has been excellent police cooperation. Ukrainian law enforcement has participated in 122 operational actions with Europol and Member States under EMPACT framework.
The European Commission and Europol are very happy with the professionalism, engagements, and results with Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.
I informed the Minister of the ongoing accommodation of the 4 million Ukrainians currently in the EU under the umbrella of the Temporary Protection Directive.
Almost 700,000 Ukrainians who have jobs. The 450,000 children currently in schools and colleges across the EU. Of course it is a challenge, but we have managed it.
I will say again Ukrainians who need to seek shelter in the EU are always welcome. On specific areas we discussed the following;
We all know that war is a disaster for citizens but an opportunity for criminals. And they will of course try to use this opportunity to get their hands on weapons and sell them to organised criminals or terrorists.
But it hasn’t happened yet thanks to our good cooperation and our protection at the borders.
With Europol and Frontex (our border agency) we have agreed with Ukrainian authorities, a programme of activities so that this successful strategy continues.
Later today I will travel to Irpin. Here I will receive the latest briefing from Investigators of war crimes.
There has been an incredible number of war crimes committed that are now being investigated. Our work with Europol and Eurojust will help ensure that those who perpetrated war crimes will face the consequences.
The European Union is setting up an “International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine”, within the Joint Investigation Team on Ukraine.
We have been very operational in the talks today. I am very happy to have Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle with me for this visit.
De-Mining and Explosives
Lastly the National Police will brief me on efforts to deactivate and dispose of explosive ordinance.
The commitments of the EU to help in these efforts remains strong.
We are training Ukrainian personnel within the EU. And we are also providing 50 specially trained dogs to help in de-mining efforts of Irpin and other effected areas across Ukraine.
Thank you again Ihor for your commitment, your expertise. Thank you for what you are doing for your professionalism, and I look forward to the day when we will have peace in Ukraine and when you will be a member of the European Union.