President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso confirm readiness for close cooperation aimed at bringing Ukraine closer to the European Union, they have said in a joint statement released after their meeting in Brussels, presidential press office reported.

In particular, the sides stressed their clear support to further strengthening relations between the EU and Ukraine and reaffirmed the readiness to cooperate closely in implementing reforms in Ukraine to bring it closer to the European Union.

The document reads that the Presidents of Ukraine and the European Commission have exchanged views on the course of the talks on the Association Agreement and free trade area. The parties welcomed the progress already made and expressed willingness to stir up the negotiation process.

In addition, the two leaders have discussed the action plan of introducing visa-free travel and praised cooperation "in a number of areas”.

Viktor Yanukovych and Jose Manuel Barroso stressed the importance of the Ukraine-IMF agreement, which allows the EU to provide Ukraine with 610 million Euros of macro financial assistance.

The statement also reads that the President of the European Commission welcomed Ukraine adopting the Gas Market Rules Law and our state’s steps to complete the process of accession to the Energy Community.

In addition, the statement reads that relations between Ukraine and the EU are based upon common history and common values, such as democracy, market economy, respect for human rights and rule of law.

In this regard, the Presidents highlighted the importance of free media and independent judiciary for continuation of Ukraine's democratic development. They also stressed the importance of conducting the upcoming local elections in Ukraine in line with international standards.

Viktor Yanukovych and Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed the initiative with the EU to develop Crimea, within the framework of which 12 million Euros were provided in 2010. The leaders have also discussed the relations with Russia, situation in Moldova and settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

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