Saturday, 22 May 2010

Ukraine’s EU membership is a matter of time, Ukraine’s foreign minister says

Ukraine’s EU membership is a matter of time, Foreign minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko has said. “European integration is becoming a national idea in Ukraine backed by both citizens and leading political parties”.

According to Hryshchenko, Ukrainian government is ready to undertake pragmatic steps and necessary reforms in order to secure its advance to the European structures. Minister Hryshchenko also outlined the priorities for EU-Ukraine cooperation: Association agreement, free trade zone and visa facilitation for Ukrainians.

At the same time he stated that improvement of Ukraine-Russia relations will, in its turn, improve Ukraine’s relations with the European Union. At the same time Ukraine is going to set a free trade zone with the Russian Federation according to WTO rules and standards.

“Economic development is one of our top priorities, as it will contribute to the welfare of our citizens” – Hryshchenko said. In particular, Ukraine would benefit from closer cooperation with Russia in gas transit projects, aerospace industry, nuclear energy sector and others spheres. Hryshchenko states that Ukraine is going to stick to pragmatic foreign policy towards Russia as well as the United States and European Union. “We would like to extend our relations with our traditional partners and to look for the new ones. That will make our foreign policy more pragmatic and realistic”, Hryshchenko said.

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