Pressemøde i Statsministeriet

Pressemøde den 5. april 2017

Det talte ord gælder

Der henvises til lydklippet i pressemødearkivet

 

 


Statsminister Lars Løkke Rasmussen: Good afternoon, everybody. I am so pleased to welcome President Petro Porosjenko here in Denmark today. We have had a very nice, constructive and fruitful meeting, and I think it’s fair to say that a lot has happened in the world around us since we met last in Kiev almost a year ago, in April last year. In a time of instability and change, it is good to have good and lasting friendships, and we truly have a friendship between Denmark and Ukraine. And I can say that, because twenty years ago, we established diplomatic relations, so we are celebrating our silver anniversary this year, and our relations have only grown stronger over time and continue to do so, politically and economically. And our meeting today is yet another example of this.

One year ago, I visited the Maidan Square to pay my respect to the fallen, and it was, and this is on a personal note, it was a very strong experience and a reminder of what the Ukrainian people has gone through, since they demanded their political leaders to set a European course for Ukraine. Today, three years later after the illegal annexation of the Crimea and after years of continued Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, the everyday life of Ukrainians are still heavily impacted by uncertainty, instability and for some, even insecurity. On that background, I am truly impressed that you, Petro, Mr. President, have managed to set an ambitious reform agenda, and I am pleased that we are starting to see the first results, which have most recently been confirmed by the Danish business community, who have participated in a meeting with the President just a couple of hours ago.

Of course, there is still a long way to go, and I have used this opportunity to urge the President to continue his hard work to modernize Ukraine and to create a more just society. This is what the Ukrainian people want and that is what they deserve, and I can assure you that Denmark will continue to support Ukrainian reforms in the field of human rights, decentralization, economic growth and energy efficiency. And we are also pleased to lead the EU anti-corruption initiative in Ukraine, that has now started. Denmark is working on a new five years’ strategy for bilateral assistance to Ukraine with a planned support of around 500 million Danish kroner, which is approximately 65 million Euro.

So, let me finish by reconfirming Denmark’s full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We refuse to recognize Russia’s aggressive and illegal annexation of Crimea. We continue to support German and French efforts to secure implementation of the Minsk agreement, in particular by Russia. International pressure on Russia must continue, and EU sanctions remain in place until the Minsk agreement is fully implemented. Ukraine is not alone, and will not be forgotten. Thank you so much. I now leave the floor to you, Mr. President.

Petro Porosjenko: Thank you very much indeed, Dear Prime Minister. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen. I am really happy to today be in Denmark with the first official visit in the decade. Mr. Prime Minister, I thank you for your kind invitation and for the very warm hospitality me and my delegation received today in Copenhagen.

You are right this is absolutely symbolic that this visit happens during the silver anniversary of the renovation of our diplomatic relation, because today I visited the place, where in the year 1918 until the year 1992, it was a Ukrainian embassy in Copenhagen, which was established almost one hundred years ago. This is a very good characteristic of how long term are our relations, starting from the time of the Kiev.... and I am deeply touched by the warm hospitality that our delegation enjoyed today in Copenhagen and we have continued our fruitful talks, we started with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark a year ago in Kiev. We fulfil almost everything we agreed, and I think Mr. Prime Minister will agree that we have established absolutely important for our personal friendship. Ukraine and Denmark share absolutely the same value. Freedom, respect of human dignity, protection of human rights, rule of law. This is what Ukrainian.... of Russian aggression. Denmark clearly understands that secure Ukraine means absolute secure of Europe. We highly value and I am personally grateful to the Danish Prime Minister for the Danish strong support of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, protecting we fight against illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia and Russian aggression on the east of my country. Thank you for your strong commitment and the sanction policy and to keep sanctions until the full implementation of the Minsk agreement and respecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russia. It is particularly important when Russia takes further steps to disrupt ... with Ukraine and undermine the Minsk agreement by recognition the fake documents of the fake state, the stealing or confiscating or grabbing the Ukrainian property in the occupied territory and establishing the rebel zone and taking other steps for the official recognition of this territory.

We very much appreciate further humanitarian assistance to support 1.8 million of the internally displaced persons and welcome very much the Danish participation in this process. This is a real important humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. There are excellent examples of how a Danish partner could support the public administration, fight against Russia, energy saving, energy efficiency, a lot of other problems, which we cooperate together with our Danish partners in different fields of Ukrainian reforms. I appreciate the leading role in the implementation of the EU anti-corruption initiative, which the Prime Minister mentioned. We value the work of the Ukraine-Denmark Energy Center, and I really welcome the memorandum of understanding, signed today by the Danish Energy Agency. We expect that Denmark will act from the position of solidarity concerning the Nord Stream II project with understanding that it is about EU energy security, and this is really important for the whole Europe.

I am glad that our close interaction of the agenda starts to bring the first fruits. With pleasure I note growth in bilateral trade turnover exceeded 472 million US dollar in year 2016, and with pleasure I note growth in bilateral relationship in different other fields, and I think this is an absolutely clear sign of rising up the trust from the side of foreign investors, and the Prime Minister is absolutely right, just 50 minutes ago we had a meeting with the leading representative of the Danish business, who are already in Ukraine or planning to invest in Ukraine, and it was absolutely of great importance of messages that we received from them that business is already seeing the practical results of the reform, and this is a very good advertising for the potential investor to come and to work in Ukraine together with us. It is absolutely not about only investment in Ukraine, but also about high business culture of Denmark we want to have in our country. I told the Prime Minister to remember that Denmark is the best nation in Europe for conditions of doing business. And we learn very much ... implement this positive experience in our country. We are ready to intensify our military cooperation and appreciate the contribution provided to three of our eight NATO trust fund projects. We think that Denmark is our key partner with the European Union, that from the very beginning supported important Ukrainian decisions for my country.

I would like once again to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for very important support of Ukraine you pay in this very difficult time for my nation. I have invited Mr. Prime Minister to pay an official visit to Ukraine at his convenience and we have not fixed the date – we keep it confidential - but we think that our door and our heart is all the time open for you, and I am leaving Copenhagen being reassured in a strong friendship between our states in mutual political will and the great potential that have been still to unleash. Thank you very much indeed, Dear Prime Minister and thank you for your attention.

Statsministeren: Thank you. And then I think we are happy to answer a few questions. First, Jesper Vestergren, TV2.

Spørger: Mr. President, how important is the friendship between Ukraine and Denmark regarding the conflict with Russia. I mean Denmark is such a small country to support you and Ukraine is such a big country to make a conflict. How much do this friendship matter to you?

Petro Porosjenko: Thank you very much indeed for this question. I must say that first of all that Denmark is not a small country. Denmark is a great nation and Denmark is playing a very important role together with our partners in the European member states, Baltic states, eastern European States, Germany, France and many other friends which demonstrate strong and reliable support, not only in a sanction policy against Russia, because sanction is the only motivation for Russia to sit at a table of negotiation, and the only thing we need from Russia – this is very simple – stop killing Ukraines. Take your troops out from Ukrainian soil. That’s it – nothing more. And we will establish a good, democratic standard, freedom and reform on the territory, which will be released from Russia. And with that situation, strong and reliable position of not only Danish government or Mr. Prime Minister or Her Majesty, with I had a very important meeting this morning, but Danish people. We feel that when we communicate today, and this is extremely important for us and for my 45 million nation. That is definite.

Spørger: Mr. Prime Minister, why do you today confirm the relationship between Denmark and Ukraine? Why risk a worse relationship with Russia?

Statsministeren: It is in our very own best interest to work in favour of values, we believe in, and that is about democracy, freedom, rules of government. You know, key Danish values and we have to stand up and fight for them – basically in all countries round the world but especially in our neighbourhood. So that is why we engaged in Ukraine. I am also very pleased, and we have touched upon that already during our interventions, that we have an increasing trade and investment relation. When I visited Ukraine last year, I spent some time with the Prime Minister, Groysman, and representatives from the Danish business community and we had a very, very frank discussion about the obstacles for further investments to Ukraine, and Ukraine has made a lot of progress in that regard, and we can start to see it in the figures, actually. There are increasing business relations between our two countries. So, I mean, in term of values, it is in our own best interest, and in terms of prosperity, workplaces in Denmark, workplaces in Ukraine is also of some kind of mutual interest.

Could you pass the mike to the lady next to you?

Petro Porosjenko: With your permission, I would like to add just one word. This is not against Russia. This is for freedom, for democracy and for the security in Europe and in the whole world, because we are not talking about global security. And I think this is an absolutely clear explanation of what is going on.

Spørger: Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, I have a question about the military cooperation. Is it time, in your opinion, for western partners to give Ukraine lethal weapons? Thank you.

Statsministeren: ... to give Ukraine?

Spørger: ... Ukraine ... lethal weapons.

Petro Porosjenko: First of all, the defence of cooperation hates too much noise and we have an effective discussion on NATO summit. We have an effective cooperation through the NATO trust fund. On the meeting with the business we have an effective discussion on the military and technical cooperation, and I think we don’t need lethal weapons I can say now in our cooperation with Denmark. If you are talking about the defensive technology for example electronic communication, this is for defensive opportunity, this is to increase defence cabability of Ukraine, absolutely fair play. That’s the case.

Statsministeren: And I have nothing to add to the President’s response to your question. Please, to Danish Television.

Spørger: Thank you. For Mr. President. Obviously, the construction of Nabu was one of the most praised constructions within anti-corruption of Ukraine, but recently, the last months, there has been increasing criticism that the work of the agencies being hindered, new auditors, and in general, there is criticism within Ukraine and also in Europe that reforms in this regard are being slowed down. What is your response to this criticism?

Petro Porosjenko: First of all, within two and a half years we create the effective infrastructure. This is the President’s responsibility. We do not have any doubts that this infrastructure, which was created by law and signed by me and initiated by me, appointed their chairman or director of Nabu, National Anti-Corruption Bureau, was done by my presidential decree, and nobody has any doubt about the independence, because key word of the anti-corruption infrastructure is independence and nobody has any doubt about the independence of this structure. We have significantly increased the number of criminals or suspected persons, who would be either arrested or under investigation. This has never happened in my country before. Launching the National Anti-Corruption Agency, launching the very difficult political, but decisive process of the electronic declaration, when all the civil servants should declare publicly their assets, which never happened, not only in Ukraine, but only in one or two European countries can demonstrate that. And from that point of view, we are now finishing creating the absolutely new, supreme court, which, provided by constitutional changes, and I think that the whole infrastructure, the whole program for fighting against corruption is doing quite successfully. Am I satisfied with the results? Of course, I want more. And I really guarantee you that never ever and no further two years, when we create anti-corruption infrastructure, neither me nor my representative can slightly interfere on the investigation process, and with that situation, I think that by creating infrastructure I am completely satisfied.

Spørger: Can I just follow up on that. Do you think that the work of the anti-corruption agencies is improving or being more effective by having competition in between themselves?

Petro Porosjenko: You say agency or bureau. For this is a different structure.

Spørger: Well, agencies then ... different ... there are multiple.

Petro Porosjenko: We don’t have any competition now. We is direct responsibility of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which is responsible for the corruption of the top official and they have the right to take any investigation from any agencies and be responsible for the investigation. And am I satisfied with that? Yes, I am satisfied because this is a new, effective, created with the assistance of our foreign partners and independent body, who is responsible for the fighting against corruption.

Statsministeren: Thank you for your participation and thank you Mr. President.

Petro Porosjenko: Thank you. Thanks a lot.