Victor Yushchenko is now meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and State Secretary for European Affairs of Portugal’s Foreign Ministry Manuel Lobo Antunes, who are in Kyiv to participate in a Ukraine- EU (Troika) meeting, President press office informed.

The President praised our relationship with the European Union. Hesaid Ukraine was eager to start talks aimed at signing a new agreement with Europe.

“The pace of our cooperation is very dynamic, and we think the beautiful mission of the EU delegation today will help continue this cooperation,” he said.

Yushchenko said his government had spared no effort to fulfill the Ukraine-EU Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation.

“I think Ukraine and its partners in the EU have taken lots of important steps in the past two years to reinforce our cooperation and understanding,” he said, adding that more than seventy events had been held to achieve this goal.

“We are pleased with our talks and common actions. But we feel we need to intensify our relations by formulating basic principles of political association and basic principles of economic integration.”

One of Ukraine’s goals is to integrate into Europe’s energy system, he added. The President said our country had made much progress in social and cultural projects with the EU. Hesaid Ukraine appreciated Europe’s decision to liberalize visa requirements and sign agreements on extradition.

Steinmeier characterized our dialogue as highly successful. He said Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU should help develop relations in the future and build closer ties in many important areas. He said the talks on the new agreement can start in February or at the beginning of March.

Victor Yushchenko and the EU leaders are expected to speak about political, economic and security issues. They are also going to discuss Ukraine’s role in Europe’s energy strategy.

Acting Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha and Presidential EU Representative Roman Shpek are present at the meeting.


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