KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine seeks to develop effective mechanisms of cooperation with the European Union and with Russia, said President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during the today's press conference dedicated to his third year in office.
Ukrainian European integration requires the country to implement numerous reforms that benefit its citizens, improve standards, etc., whereas Russia and the Customs Union (CU) member countries remain the largest market for Ukrainian goods and services, noted President Yanukovych.
Talking about Ukraine's integration into the EU, Ukrainian leader stressed that it was related to the current reforms in the country.
"There are reforms on which we need to significantly accelerate... These reforms are aimed at raising living standards, increasing the level of democratization in Ukraine, and improving the rights and freedoms of citizens. These reforms are needed in Ukraine and, of course, they will harmonize our relations with Europe, promote harmonization of Ukrainian and European legislation, technical standards and so on," said Viktor Yanukovych.
Concurrently, Head of State noted that Ukraine faced a task to complete the first stage of the Action Plan on visa liberalization with the EU.
On February 27, the government decided to create a special group to deal with the implementation of the necessary decisions including finalization of the first stage of the plan.
On the other hand Ukrainian president stressed that Ukraine would not "neglect cooperation" with the Customs Union.
Negotiations on the form of cooperation between Ukraine and this organization were under way, he said.
"We are negotiating the model we are going to apply in our relations. Economic integration with the Customs Union is interesting to us from the economic point of view," said President Yanukovych.
According to him, the volume of foreign trade turnover between Ukraine and the Customs Union in 2012 reached $63 billion dollars and about $50 billion between Ukraine and the EU.
Viktor Yanukovych noted that Ukraine did not intend to lose CU markets and was trying to avoid "discriminatory measures" applied by the organization.
"This is very important - these are our strategic partners".
He also said that soon he would visit Russia to continue negotiations, which never stopped.
"We must do it, because our national interests are there," he concluded.