President Victor Yushchenko made a speech before France’s leading politicians and businessmen at the French Institute for International Relations (Institut francais des relations internationales).

He spoke about bilateral relations between Ukraine and France, which had profoundly improved in the past eight months, the President's press office told.

“We have considerably raised the status of our bilateral relations,” he said, reminding all of the three-year Action Plan between the two countries.

The Head of State stressed that Ukraine was ready to welcome French investors.

Speaking of Ukraine’s EU integration, he noted that his political party had always adhered to one opinion.

“The Ukrainian nation has been historically involved in formulating European values,” he said. “We hope Ukraine would overcome its path to Europe.”

The President emphasized that he saw relations between Ukraine and the EU in a “system of pragmatic steps.” Speaking about an upcoming Ukraine-EU summit in Kyiv, Yushchenko noted that he was expecting to receive several “positive signals.” Ukraine still wants to get a market economy status and is intent to start talks to liberalize visa requirements for some categories of Ukrainian citizens.

The Head of State said he hoped the EU would be enlarged, and all European borders would eventually become its borders.

“I would be happy if this project was implemented by my generation of politicians,” he said.

Then Yushchenko added that our country had offered an action plan to settle the Trans-dniester conflict.

“Ukraine is eager to be a regional leader,” he said.

Touching on the subject of NATO integration, the President assured all that our state “worthily fulfills all mutual obligations” stipulated by the Ukraine-NATO Action Plan.

“We have normal and intensive relations,” he said.

The President added that he hoped Ukraine would soon start to negotiate its NATO accession.

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