KYIV, Ukraine, November 29, 2013
Ukraine hopes to sign Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union in the near future. Such statement was made by President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius today. For now, the country has to prepare the grounds to maximise the results of the prospective AA implementation, he stressed.
Ukraine has been working jointly with the European Union for more than six years now holding negotiations and trying to find compromises. There are a few crucial steps left to make, noted the Head of State. "I reaffirm the intentions of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement in the nearest future," he noted.
The new trade and economic circumstances force Ukraine to implement the program of joint measures aimed at adaptation of the economy to the new realities and minimize the negative effects on the vulnerable groups of Ukrainian population, emphasized the president.
He expressed confidence that such preparation would eliminate existing contradictions and help Ukraine move along the way of European integration without serious economic losses for the country.
During the summit the Ukrainian leader also stressed the importance of holding tripartite negotiations between the EU, Russia and Ukraine. Some of the issues to be discussed in this format include gas transporting system, trade agreements, financial and economic assistance, etc.
Notably, European leaders expressed their desire to have strong relations with Ukraine and help the Eastern European country. "We, as the European Union must speak with Russia to avoid the "us or them" approach toward Ukraine," said the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, as reported by Unian. She also stressed that Europe would continue to provide natural gas to Ukraine.
Similar intentions had been expressed by the EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who said: "We want to have a strong relationship with Ukraine, we believe particularly on economic issues… What I would say is that the European Union door is open."
Interestingly, the idea of Ukraine's European integration had been widely supported by thousands of Ukrainians who negatively responded to the recent resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to suspend the process of preparation for the signing of the AA with the EU.