President Yanukovych: Ukraine Should Become a Bridge Between EU and CU

Nov 06, 2013, 10:59 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, November 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The signing of the Association Agreement (AA) and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union should not become the end of just some phase of cooperation, but the beginning of a broader and deeper integration process. Such statement was made by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during the regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in Kyiv.

"Ukraine, as a geographical center of Europe, may act as a "bridge" between the European Union and the Eurasian Union facilitating gradual creation of a single European Economic Space," said President Yanukovych in his speech to the delegates of the WEF.

He also noted that bringing Ukraine into United Europe's orbit offers a new quality to European enlargement. "In fact, it is not the expansion of the EU to the East but the emergence of the "Eurasian shoulder" of the European Union," he noted.

According to President Yanukovych, Ukraine could play the role of "inter-civilizational portal" for Euro-Atlantic countries (USA and the EU) and Eurasia (primarily Russia and China). The goal of Ukraine, according to its leader, is to establish partnership relations both with the EU and the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) as well as to further harmonize economic activity in both associations. Such partnerships will be based on "sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit," he stressed.

Ukraine's cooperation with EU and EEC has been going on for years. Nevertheless, it was not until recently that Ukraine showed substantial progress working with both unions.

On May 29, 2013, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council - the governing body of the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus - has agreed to grant Ukraine an observer status. Ukraine's participation in the work of the Customs Union and the signed memorandum to enhance cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission do not contradict Ukraine's WTO membership and the strategic course toward European integration through the Association Agreement and the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU.

In September 2013, Ukrainian government has approved the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The signing of the agreement is planned for the November 28-29 at the Eastern Partnership summit which is to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine