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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Welcomes EU Ambassador's "Positive and Constructive" Remarks on Completion of Association Agreement by Year-End

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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Welcomes EU Ambassador's "Positive and Constructive" Remarks on Completion of Association Agreement by Year-End PR Newswire KYIV, Ukraine, October 18, 2012 KYIV, Ukraine, October 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ukraine's Foreign Minister

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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Welcomes EU Ambassador's "Positive and Constructive" Remarks on Completion of Association Agreement by Year-End
PR Newswire KYIV, Ukraine, October 18, 2012
KYIV, Ukraine,October 18, 2012/PRNewswire/ --
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Konstantyn Gryshchenko has welcomed "as positive and constructive" the remarks made this week by the new European Union Ambassador to U kraine, Jan Tombinski, in which he said he hoped for the technical approval of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the end of the year.
Ambassador Tombinski, who took office last month, said that "very thorough technical work on this document is being carried out" and that "we hope to finish this work by the end of this year, possibly by the end of November."
He noted that the text of the Association Agreement is currently translated into the languages of all EU member states, but stressed that "all of the necessary political criteria have to be fulfilled" before the EU countries take a decision, so that they have "no doubt that Ukraine is eager to move towards the association with the EU."
The Head of the EU Delegation toUkraine further said he opposed the idea of any sanctions being introduced for Ukraine, as they might not provide for positive changes for the country.
"Sanctions can be introduced easily, but it is difficult to cancel them," he said, adding that there should be good reasons for their introduction.
"I think that both Ukraine and the European Union deserve a better future," Tombinski said.
Gryshchenko welcomed Tombinski's statements and reiterated Ukraine's deep commitment to European integration, noting that the Association Agreement would be "a tool to promote further reforms and dem ocracy in Ukraine according to best European standards."
But Gryshchenko also stressed that the Association Agreement is also of interest for the EU - the 27-m ember organisation, which has just been awarded the Nobel Prize - due to Ukraine's vast agricultural resources, its crucial role in energy security and transport, and its geo-strategic location, acting as a bridge between the EU and Russia.
"It's a win-win agreement," Gryshchenko said.
th With the country heading for parliamentary elections onOctober 28, Gryshchenko further pointed to Tombinski's remarks that there is no censorship in Ukraine. "It again illustrates that there is no government interference and that there will be clean and fair elections," Gryshchenko said.
Tombinski said earlier this week: "Considering what I have seen here, I can say there is no censorship and there is complete freedom of self-expression in Ukraine."