President Victor Yushchenko met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the President's press office reported.

The sides discussed Ukraine’s EU integration. Yushchenko thanked Blair for active cooperation, and said the European Union had recognized Ukraine as a market economy when Great Britain was presiding in the EU. In his turn,the Prime Ministerassured his vis-à-vis that the United Kingdom consistently supported our ambition to join the EU.

Then they discussed cooperation between the countries in the energy sector, transit, transportation and aircraft-building.

This has been the third meeting with Blair since Yushchenko was inaugurated in 2005. They both noted that relations between our countries were actively developing.

Today, Oleksiy Ivchenko and Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s Executive Director for Exploration and Production, signed a cooperation agreement to jointly study, explore, produce, market, and sell hydrocarbons.

This is the first important milestone after the two companies agreed in May 2005 to carry out joint studies in an area in the Dnieper-Donets Basin, which is thought to contain potentially significant remaining resources of natural gas. Under the terms of the agreement, Shell will farm into ten Naftogaz held licenses with access to deep potential reservoirs, which partly lie beneath large-scale shallower fields already in production. It involves a total initial investment by Shell of around USD 100 million. Work is scheduled to start in 2006.

The President of Ukraine said this document was very important and thanked the sides for preparing it so fast.

Today, Victor Yushchenko and Tony Blair wore red ribbons to mark World AIDS Day.


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