Italy recognizes Ukraine's hopes of joining the European Union and will back these in "concrete" ways, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday during a visit to Kiev.
"We recognise Ukraine's European aspirations and will support them concretely," Di Maio said after talks with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
"At European level, am convinced that strengthening relations between Brussels and Kiev is crucial for both sides."
Italy is therefore proud to have backed the 2014 signing of the association and free trade agreements between the EU and Ukraine, and the granting to Ukranians of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area for stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period, Di Maio said.
"And we are satisfied with the results that these agreements have obtained," he stated.
The landmark 2014 Association Agreement with the EU commits Ukraine to safeguarding democratic principles, the rule of law, fighting corruption, and pursuing judicial reform.