“I am happy to announce today a new package of measures in support to the Azov Sea Region,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in a joint press conference following the 21st EU-European summit in Kiev on Monday.

The package includes funding for IT infrastructure in Mariupol and SMEs in the region. “Preparatory work is also rail and road upgrades paving the way for potential loans of €450 million from financial institutions,” he said.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk said that the Russian passports being offered to citizens of the Donestk and Lugansk regions run “counter to the Minsk Agreements and we stand ready to consider further options, including non-recognition of such Russian passports.”

Ukrainian President Volodimyr Zelensky spoke about the economic blockade Ukraine imposes on the self-proclaimed republics in the east of the country. He said he does not rule out lifting this blockade if local enterprises return under Kiev’s control.

The 21st Ukraine-EU summit is the first for newly- elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Associated Press 20 Aug 2019 23:21 CEST

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