Ukraine and the European Union have reached an agreement to accelerate negotiations on the Association Agreement, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych informed in Brussels at a press conference, according to the presidential press office.

He expressed appreciation of the fruitful discussion in the framework of the Fourteenth EU-Ukraine Summit, noting the "high level of mutual understanding and increasing trust”.

“We have discussed energy cooperation. Recent signature of the Protocol on Ukraine's Accession to the Treaty Establishing the Energy Community was mentioned positively. This event was our common achievement," he said.

In this context, the President added that Ukraine is and will be doing its best to ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to Europe.

No less important for our bilateral relations, he said, was today’s signature of the Protocol on Ukraine's participation in EU programs.

"I would like to emphasize: this document opens new possibilities in the context of support for Ukraine's efforts to reach EU standards," he said.

Besides, Viktor Yanukovych said, he has once again confirmed at the Summit that EU membership remains a strategic goal of Ukraine.

He stressed that Ukraine confirms with real actions the continuity of its European integration course. In particular, the President said, thanks to the Government’s work, economic growth in Ukraine has renewed, GDP growth has exceeded 5% and industrial output has grown more than 11%.

"However, I would like to emphasize that our focus remains the same: establishment of the rule of law and support of democratic trends of development of the Ukrainian society," Viktor Yanukovych said.

"Today's Summit has once again confirmed that our joint efforts will contribute to our country's further democratic development, economic growth and to bringing Ukraine closer to European standards," the President said.

From his part, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy praised high intensity of dialogue between Ukraine and the EU in 2010, which promotes the development of our relations. "This book will be long, but today we are finishing one of its most interesting pages," he said.

Herman Van Rompuy expressed assurance that the Fourteenth EU - Ukraine Summit is a success, as good discussion was held and concrete results were reached. "Ukraine is a strategically important partner of the EU," the President of the European Council said.

He noted mutual desire to further deepening and strengthening our relations.

According to Herman Van Rompuy, at today's Summit the sides expressed satisfaction with the progress in relations between Ukraine and the EU and stressed the importance of concluding negotiations on the Association Agreement. In addition, common commitment to establishing a deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and EU was reaffirmed.

According to Herman Van Rompuy, the parties are waiting for the soonest completion of the Association Agreement negotiations.

"Next year will be very important for the EU-Ukraine relations", the President of the European Council said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed that President Yanukovych is a leader of non-EU state, with whom he met most often in recent months. This is a sign of good relations between Ukraine and the EU, he said.

The European Commission President expressed confidence that today's signature of the Visa-Free Action Plan and the Protocol on Ukraine’s Participation in Community Programs “will yield real results for the citizens of Ukraine”. He also stressed that both documents reflect common aspirations of Ukraine and the EU to economic integration and political accession of our country to the European Community. "We believe next year will be very important for relations between Ukraine and the EU in this question. We would like to finish our Association Agreement talks by mid-2011. We would like to see progress in the agenda of democratic reforms in Ukraine – it is important for an open and democratic society," the European Commission President said.

He called today's Summit a success due to concreteness of its results.

"Ukraine is not only a close neighbor of the EU, but its good partner," Jose Manuel Barroso said. "We have very good prospects," he said.


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