Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who met with PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu in Kyiv on Monday, has described as "successful" Ukraine's cooperation with the Council of Europe and the implementation of the Action Plan for 2008-2011, UKRINFORM reported.

The head of state noted that the areas of cooperation and the objectives of the plan coincided with the program principles of the Ukrainian government's activities that are being implemented in order to reform the country.

The president also pointed to the launch of the judicial reform and preparations for reform of the criminal justice system. Yanukovych noted that the conduct of these reforms, as well as the intensification and deepening of cooperation with the PACE, would help combat corruption, prevent money laundering, strengthen and enhance the independence of the judiciary, as well as facilitate the public's access to justice.

Yanukovych stressed that the Ukrainian government did not infringe on the freedom of speech. "Ensuring the freedom of speech is a very painful issue. The opposition raised a flag and is searching for weaknesses in this issue. Of course, they exist, but they are mostly artificial. I am confident that the authorities do not attempt to impede the freedom of speech," the president said.

"Ensuring the independence of the media is one of the goals for the development of a democratic society," Yanukovych said, adding that work on drafting a strategy of public broadcasting is continuing.

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