President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met with Mailis Reps, co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee.

Speaking at the meeting, President Yanukovych said that the opportunity to exchange views on key issues of development of Ukraine is good for both sides, particularly on the eve of the PACE October session.

Viktor Yanukovych also said that at his recent meeting with PACE Chairman Mevlut Cavusoglu sides had agreed that the Parliamentary Assembly would strengthen coordination of efforts with our state in the context of preparation for Ukraine's presidency in the Committee of Ministers in 2011.

Viktor Yanukovych also informed Mailis Reps on the progress of reforms in Ukraine. He noted that judicial reform is being implemented as the necessary laws, such as On Judiciary and Status of Judges, were adopted and entered into force.

"This move has strengthened the independence of judges and simplified the procedure of citizens’ access to courts and justice," Viktor Yanukovych stressed.

Today, the authorities have focused on reforming criminal justice, he said. President Yanukovych reminded that he has signed a decree creating the appropriate working group which would start its work soon.

The preparation of a package of anticorruption laws has entered its final stage, the President said. “Fighting corruption is another main goal of ours. We are doing it with the active participation of specialists of the PACE states, using their experience," Viktor Yanukovych said.

Sides have dedicated particular attention to the issue of freedom of speech in Ukraine. In this regard the President pointed to importance of the decision to establish public television in Ukraine. "This concept of public television and radio broadcasting has been put to extensive discussion and soon the bill will be discussed in the Parliament. I maintain personal supervision over this issue, as well as over investigation of every case of violation of media rights," he said.

Viktor Yanukovych and Mailis Reps have also discussed preparation for the local election in Ukraine. "We are deeply interested in these elections being transparent and democratic. And will I do my best to make them so," the President said.

He noted that special attention was dedicated to improving electoral legislation. In particular, the law on local elections, and later - amendments to it were adopted. "The law and the amendments were aimed at ensuring fair participation of all the political forces in these elections," he said, adding that later he signed an additional decree to prevent violations during campaigning.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the President has sent the invitation to PACE and OSCE observers to come to October 31 election in Ukraine. "We hope that our cooperation will be aimed precisely at the qualitative monitoring of the campaign and election. I am sure that objective and balanced assessment would be given. It is very important that objectivity was preserved. We are deeply interested in this, " Viktor Yanukovych said.

From her part, the co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee thanked the President of Ukraine for the meeting. "We would really like you to look at us as people inclined to help you the best we can," she said.


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