President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels. They spoke about European and Ukrainian issues, especially how to develop Ukraine’s ties with the EU, the President’s press office informs.

Yushchenko told reporters after the meeting: “I am very pleased with my dialogue with the leadership of the European Union because each such dialogue focuses on this or that aspect of our partnership.”

The President said Ukraine was going through a “crucial period of its relationship with the EU” and added that an enhanced cooperation agreement between Ukraineand the European Union “willfix the country’s European prospects.” “I am absolutely pleased with the signals I am receiving today.”

Yushchenko said it was “a matter of principle” for Ukraine to hear a positive report by the Geneva Group on the country’s WTO accession. “However, there is no feeling that this report will be positive,” he said, adding that it should take up to 1.5 months to complete all the technical requirements and that Ukraine would start free trade talks with the European Union only after joining the World Trade Organization.

Yushchenko and Barroso also discussed preparations for a Ukraine-EU summit, which is scheduled to be held this fall, andspoke about a new EU treaty.

“I am very interested in finding a harmonious solution. The European Union, Ukraine, Poland and any other state will benefit from that,” he said and admittedthat the EU treaty talks “are not easy but there must be a positive solution, given the collective interests of all the sides of the dialogue.” Yushchenko said Ukraine used its contacts with international partnersto facilitate this process.


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