President Victor Yushchenko met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the President's press office informs.

The sides are going to discuss Ukraine’s market economy status and integration to the European Union, the WTOand NATO.Then they will exchange their views on regional cooperation and international policy. Yushchenko and Rice will also speak about ways to enhance strategic relations between Ukraine and the United States.
Opening the meeting, the President assured his vis-à-vis that he appreciated the high level of cooperation between Ukraine and the United States and was pleased with progress in our relations.
Yushchenko thanked Ms. Rice for her help to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine.
In her turn, the Secretary of State said she hopes the two countries would enhance their cooperation. She stressed that the United States regard Ukraine as “an important state in the core of Europe.”
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, NSDCU Secretary Anatoly Kinakh, Secretariat Chief-of-Staff Oleh Rybachuk, and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst are present at the meeting.

The sides noted that there was obvious progress in the development of Ukrainian-American relations. At a joint news conference, the President said he appreciated the United States for starting the procedure to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine.

They discussed trade relations between the two countries. The Secretary of State said Ukraine and the United States should further activate their economic cooperation.

“By signing a bilateral protocol on mutual access to markets of goods and services with the United States we will only reinforce our dynamic relations,” Yushchenko said, adding that the Secretary of State and he believed Ukraine had made much progress to join the WTO in the past four months.

During their talks, Yushchenko and Rice discussed ways to start joint projects in the energy sector. The President said Ukraine and the United States had also conducted consultations to cooperate in the field of space exploration. He added that the countries would hopefully sign a cooperation agreement in the beginning of 2006, when the NASA President comes to Ukraine.

They also discussed Ukraine’s chances to be recognized as a market economy by the United States.

“As soon as Ukraine meets all necessary requirements, the United States will recognize it as a market economy,” Ms. Rice said. “I hope that will happen soon.”

She assured those present that, since her last visit in 2001, Ukraine had undergone many positive changes and stressed that the United States appreciated Ukraine as “an important strategic partner” and “a significant state in its region.”


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