President Viktor Yushchenko met today with EU Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson. President's press office reports.

“Today is the day I consider to be a beginning of the official talks process on establishment of free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU,” Yushchenko said opening the meeting. “We expect that 2008 will be a year of most active talks on forming a free trade zone”.

The President also expressed hope that the political part of the agreement will be drafted before September 2008, when “Ukraine-EU” summit is scheduled to be held.

In a broader scope Viktor Yushchenko has reassured that European integration remains a priority of both Ukrainian internal and external policy.

After the meeting, speaking to media, Mr. P. Mandelson explained the vision of the European Commission of the future document.

"We are seeking an agreement that is comprehensive, which is ambitious, which is deep, because therein lies the real economic value of what we are seeking. And it will be long complex work, but it will not take a day longer than it is necessary to secure the full value that we are seeking,” he said.

From his part V. Yushchenko dwelled on the potential benefits from the agreement on free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU. “Liberalization of goods, services, capitals movement is the potential, which on the opinion of many experts may substantially increase intensiveness of our relations,” the President said .


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