The parties have reasserted their "firm intention" to conclude Association Agreement negotiations between the EU and Ukraine this year, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed at a press conference following his meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych. 

"This means that we face many challenges. Particularly important are the questions concerning deep and comprehensive free trade area ," the European Commission President added, presidential press office reported. 

"This agreement, as well as trade expansion, modernization, investments, will continue bringing benefits to citizens of both Ukraine and the EU. This is not just another agreement, this is a tool of transformation that will ensure rapprochement of Ukraine and the EU ", - he said. 

Speaking about cooperation in the energy sector, the European Commission President said that the EU and Ukraine have signed a very important agreement today. "You have just witnessed the signing of nuclear safety cooperation agreement, which foresees provision of funds in the amount of 48 million euros. This confirms once again that the European Union is committed to supporting physical protection in the area of nuclear safety," President Jose Manuel Barroso said. 

"This visit provided an opportunity to reaffirm the willingness of both parties to move towards implementation of our cooperation program. This is a very broad and ambitious program. In 2011, Ukraine celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its independence, and we would also like this year to be the year of rapprochement of the EU and Ukraine. 

For us, Ukraine is not just another country bordering the EU, but our key neighbor, and our common partner. We believe Ukraine can join the European family of nations," the European Commission President said.


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