On Thursday, Volodymyr Lytvyn, Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, met President of Croatia Ivo Josipović, press office of the Verhovna Rada reported.

The Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stated that the visit of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation "confirms the willingness and intention to develop the multi-faceted relations."  

The Parties discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

The Head of the Parliament declared that Ukraine was willing to develop bilateral cooperation within "The Strategy of the European Union for the Danube Region" that includes Croatia.  "Every country of the Danube Region should raise above its own interests, and think about the common responsibility," he stated.

Croatia is reported to express its interest in the development of the comprehensive single policy regarding the Danube Region to enhance efficient use of the Danube River as one of the main arteries of Europe.  Croatia is trying to become a link between the Danube and the Adriatic Regions. The Croatian Party initiated holding of the international conference dedicated to "The Strategy of the European Union for the Danube Region" in the town of Vukovar in April, 2011.

The Parties also discussed the issue of European integration. The Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine informed that Ukraine had fostered the dialogue at all the levels, and expects conclusion of the agreements on association and the free trade zone, and implementation of the Visa-Free Regime Action Plan with the EU member nations.

V.Lytvyn appreciates the experience of Croatia in the harmonization of domestic laws with the EU standards. He declared that the Ukrainian Party was willing to establish an active inter-parliamentary cooperation.  

In his turn, the President of Croatia stated that the Croatians aimed not only at the accession to the EU, but also at the development of friendly relations with other states, including Ukraine. I.Josipović called for boosting bilateral trade-economic relations, stating that commodity circulation between the countries totaled EUR 66 million last year. He also called for developing cooperation in the tourist sector, and extending cultural and scientific ties.  "Trust and friendship is the foundation of good cooperation," he stressed.

The Head of the Parliament believes that cooperation in the transport, energy, and construction sectors is promising.  He also sees a wide field for cooperation in the military-technical sphere. "I expect the Ukrainian-Croatian Inter-Governmental Panel to pass the resolution concerning actions in this area," he stated.

The Croatian government has decided to suspend the issuance of visas for Ukrainian citizens for the period from April 1 to October 31, the press service of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has reported.

"Today [on March 10] the government of Croatia decided to suspend visas for Ukrainians for the period from April 1 to October 31 this year," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia Gordan Jandrokovic said.

The politician also expressed hope that the number of Ukrainian tourists traveling to Croatia would increase significantly in connection with this decision.

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