EC President: Ukraine May be the First Eastern Partnership Country to Sign Association Agreement

Sep 30, 2011, 15:41 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, September 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso together with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy positively assessed Ukraine's aspirations for further integration with Europe and confirmed their support for such a course. The European politicians made such statement during their meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the Eastern Partnership summit that took place on September 29-30, in Warsaw, Poland.

Ukraine has a chance to become the first out of six states (of the Eastern Parntership - Ed.) to finalize the association agreement with the European Union, emphasized President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso after the Eastern Partnership summit deliberations. He also noted that the EU is looking forward to the upcoming Ukraine-EU summit in December. The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, on the other hand, stressed that all the paperwork must be finalized before the summit, so that the union of 27 member-states and Ukraine are able to "take their relations to a new stage". Ukraine, however, needs to carry on with its reforms, stated Van Rompuy.  

During the meeting the leaders discussed the issues regarding a free trade zone, the Association Agreement, liberalization of visa regime for Ukraine, as well as some of the challenges Ukraine is currently facing. Presently, Ukraine streamlines its state administration system, reforms economy, and improves its investment environment.

At the earlier plenary session President Yanukovych emphasized that the Eastern Partnership project should support the partner countries in implementing reforms, especially the ones introduced through the Association Agreements. Conspicuously, on September 29 in Warsaw, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stressed, that the EU has provided financial support to the Partnership countries in the amount exceeding EUR 1.9 billion, made available for 2010-13 for bilateral and regional cooperation.

In addition, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych held meetings with other top European politicians - the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Nick Clegg, the Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of South Korea Kim Hwang-Sik, and the Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine