President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych appreciates support rendered by the leadership of Latvia to Ukraine in the issue of establishing free trade area with the European Union, he said at the press conference in Riga after the Ukrainian-Latvian talks.

"I am very grateful to President Zatlers for the support in such an important issue for our state as the FTA with Ukraine and the EU," the President of Ukraine said.

The President noted that the negotiation process between the EU and Ukraine on the matter "is gaining momentum and progress."

Viktor Yanukovych expressed hopes that compromises will bring the parties to a logical conclusion of the process. He said that it is not an easy question for Ukraine, as "it is very sensitive for the economy of Ukraine." “We hope the EU will make more concessions. At least we call upon it to do so," Viktor Yanukovych said.

For his part, President Zatlers said that his country is already experiencing the benefits of having free trade area with the EU. It facilitates balanced flow of goods and balanced documentation. The President of Latvia stressed that since Ukraine is a neighbor of the EU, " Latvia supports the expansion of European free trade area." After all, Valdis Zatlers said, it opens new opportunities for economic development and unification of regulations in Europe.

If Ukraine needs assistance in elevating its documentation practices to the European standards, Latvia is ready to help, President Zatlers assured. "Latvia is interested cooperation with Ukraine in this direction," he said.

When asked about the next year’s International Conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster, President Zatlers noted that he had been taking part in fighting the catastrophe himself and that recently he has had the opportunity to be in that area.

"It was such a school, which did not pass in vain for me and still helps me to take political decisions," the President of Latvia said.

Valdis Zatlers said that the problem of overcoming consequences of the Chornobyl disaster is still on the agenda. "Yet, much has been done over these years, including in providing support to those affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe," he said.

The Latvian President also noted that it is important conduct comprehensive studies of the Chornobyl accident causes and to do everything to prevent such recurrence in the future.


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