During his official visit to Tallinn President Victor Yushchenko described relations between Estonia and Ukraine as a relationship of "true friends and partners,"  president's press office reported.

The President said his talks with Estonia’s officials had focused mostly on the neighbor’s Euro-Atlantic experience.

“The information tactics applied in Estonia is one of the best experiences among the Baltic republics as far integration into the EU and NATO is concerned. And this is very important to us,” he said, adding that most of Ukrainians needed information on NATO and its objectives and tasks.

The President reiterated that there would be no changes in our country’s foreign course. He said Ukraine was speaking about the pace of its integration into NATO but not about integration itself. He added it was important to respect those who oppose NATO, urging Ukraine’s political forces not to politicize the issue.

“We must not politicize this issue over and over again, so I do not support the idea to hold a referendum on the issue. It is too early and gives no essential answers,” he said. 

Speaking about Estonia’s positive experience in this area, Mr. Yushchenko praised the country’s government for uniting the citizens to uphold key principles and values.

The President said they had also spoken about how to legalize the status of Ukrainians working in Estonia and honor the victims of political repressions buried in the city of Narva, where a concentration camp used to be located.

The two leaders also discussed regional cooperation. Mr. Yushchenko said Ukraine and Estonia had seventeen so-called city-brothers. He said such projects were useful to promote democracy and build closer humanitarian, political and business ties.

Mr. Yushchenko praised the  dynamics of trade between Ukraine and Estonia, expressing hopes the two countries would cooperate in other areas, particularly energy.  

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves promised to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic bid and commended Victor Yushchenko’s government for democratic and economic reforms in the past two years.


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