Ukraine President: European Vector is a Priority

Jan 24, 2013, 09:38 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, January 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Ukrainian European vector remains the country's priority, emphasized Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in his speech in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The Ukrainian President participated in the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders Laying the Foundations for Europe's Renaissance  during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2013).

Speaking to the world economic leaders, Yanukovych touched upon geopolitical issues, gas-related relations between Ukraine, Russia, and the EU, as well as the Eastern European country's further cooperation with the EU. In a separate meeting with former Secretary of State, Nobel Peace Prize holder Henry Kissinger, the Ukrainian leader discussed Ukraine-EU, as well as Ukraine-U.S. relations.

Some 3,000 participants of the 2013 event in Davos include the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, his Polish colleague Donald Tusk, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, as well as representatives of governments, business, media, and civil society of 68 countries.

Promoting Ukraine's European vector in Davos, the country leader followed the long-established European way, which is currently at the preparation stage of the signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU. The document regulates political association issues - political dialogue, reform, association and cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy, as well as economic integration of the parties. It envisions the creation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

Association talks between Ukraine and the EU started in March 2007. After 21 rounds of negotiations over the AA, Ukraine and the EU finalized the negotiating process on December 19, 2011. On January 23, 2012, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski expressed hope to sign the AA at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnus, Lithuania, in November 2013. Previously, EUobserver informed the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia were ready to sign the AA at the summit.

Interestingly, in December 2012, a public opinion poll showed that more than half of Ukrainian citizens wanted the country to become an EU member. The poll involved 1,000 Ukrainians between 18 and 65 years old. Notably, 35 percent of Ukrainians aged 18-29 supported rapid European integration of Ukraine (i.e. within the next five years).

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine