The head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, has named two main sources of threats to the security of Ukraine – external and internal.
He was speaking at a roundtable conference entitled "Threats to the security of Ukraine and other countries of the Eastern Partnership: possible answers" in Kyiv on Tuesday, 16 January.
"In the EU, we see two sources of threats to the security of Ukraine and its neighbours: first of all, obviously, this is a conflict with Russia and the second direction is ineffective governance, weak institutions, lack of rule of law, which make Ukraine and other countries of the region more vulnerable to internal and external threats," Mingarelli said as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine.
He also noted that the military conflict in eastern Donbas had already claimed 10,000 lives, forced the displacement of 1.6m people and pushed more than 1m refugees to neighbouring countries.
The ambassador pointed to the economic challenges faced by Ukraine.
"It is clear that the occupation of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Ukrainian economy has become weaker, particularly in industrial production," the diplomat added.
Mingarelli also noted the role of the economic blockade of the occupied territories in the difficult economic situation in Ukraine.
At the same time, the head of the EU mission stressed the importance of carrying out reforms in Ukraine.
"The association agreement will include the economy of Ukraine in the EU single market. It is also a way to strengthen Ukraine's resistance to internal and external challenges," concluded the EU ambassador.
Earlier, Mingarelli indicated weak and strong points in the implementation of Ukraine's association agreement with the European Union.