Ukraine and the European Union have agreed on the priorities for their bilateral relations in 2009, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported. 

"A Ukraine-EU Troika meeting at a ministerial level has coordinated priorities in relations between Ukraine and the EU for 2009," the ministry said. 

The Ukraine-EU Troika meeting, which took place in Prague on Thursday, discussed prospects for Ukraine's integration into the EU, in particular its accession to the common energy space, as well as preparations for an international conference on the modernization of Ukraine's gas transit system, due to take place on March 23. 

In the EU's estimation, about 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion) are needed to maintain Ukraine's transit capacity through 2013. 

The ministry said the recent gas conflict had not affected Ukraine's relations with the EU. 

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said on Wednesday that Ukraine needed to step up its efforts on political and economic reform. 

She said the Eastern Partnership program would help deepen the bilateral relationship and enhance dialogue on an array of topics. 

"I hope Ukraine will profit from the opportunities offered by this initiative and become an active partner in the Eastern Partnership, once it is launched," Ferrero-Waldner said.


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