Victor Yushchenko met yesterday with members of the board of the international nongovernmental network Yalta European Strategy (YES), President's press office reported.

They presented a strategy of Ukraine’s integration into the European Union, Agenda 2020. The document says Ukraine may become an EU member in 2020 if it applies for EU membership in 2011. Its authors believe this time will be particularly favorable for Ukraine because Poland, its reliable partner, will be presiding in the European Union then.

The strategy details practical steps taken by the ten new EU members when trying to meet the requirements for membership and also conclusions of the authors’ discussions with Europe’s prominent politicians and experts.

Yushchenko characterized the project as a good contribution to Ukraine’s European ambitions.    

During the meeting, he phoned Alexander Kwasniewski, who is a member of the YES board. Poland’s ex-president expressed his full support for the project.   

The Head of State said Ukraine’s strategic goal “is to join the EU, not just to be recognized as a European country or a neighbor for cooperation.”

“We must know what to do with the membership opportunity now to further formulate our national strategy in this direction,” he said, reiterating that there would be no changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy “There is no political force that can revise this course.” 

Yushchenko said Ukraine “needs partners on its path to Europe,” thanking those present for “defending and assuring Ukraine’s interests in the EU.”

Chairman of the Board Stephen Byers, who is also a British MP, said their network was eager to become such a partner, “for its members have much experience they can share.”

He invited the President to attend the fourth annual meeting of YES, which will take place in Yalta in 2007. Yushchenko accepted the invitation.

They also discussed preparations for a Ukraine-EU summit, which is scheduled for October 27 and will be held in Helsinki, Finland. The President said it was Ukraine’s priority at this stage to implement the Ukraine-EU action plan, adding that the summit would mainly focus on the initiation of talks to sign an enhanced agreement. 

Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleksandr Chalyy and the members of the YES board, Marek Siwiec, Member of the European Parliament, Alexander Rahr, Program Director/Körber Center, Jean-Pierre Saltiel, President (1998-2004)/ Rothschild Counsel International, and Victor Pinchuk, YES founder, attended the meeting.


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