"Ukraine is working on European integration, but it does not mean that tomorrow we will apply for EU membership. However, our country must have a European perspective," Azarov emphasized.
He added that in accordance with the Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty, any country geographically located in Europe has the right on a European perspective.
Barbara Prammer, in turn, said that the potential for expanding the EU exists and European countries should have the prospect of joining the EU.
"The number of EU member states increased to 27, but I think that potential of EU enlargement is not limited to this number, other countries should have the prospect of joining the Union," she said.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that the Association Agreement will be signed by end of the year, and the prospects of Ukraine joining the EU will be provided in it.
"We expect to sign this agreement by the end of the year. It is clear no deadlines can be set regarding such a complex issue, but there is every reason to think it will be exactly as we think," the PM said.
Meanwhile Mykola Azarov informed that Ukraine is on the final stage on FTA negotiations with the EU. In particular, he welcomed the latest round of negotiations with the European Commission, during which the parties agreed to increase the Ukrainian grain export quotas.
However, unresolved questions remain, particularly for oilseeds. The Prime Minister stressed that Ukraine introduced export duty on sunflower seeds, which allowed becoming a big producer of oil, and the Commission now insists on the abolition of such duties.
"We cannot understand this requirement, as the main oil-extracting plants are not in Europe but in Turkey. Why is Europe so worried about Turkey? We are ready to supply oil both in Europe and in Turkey," Mykola Azarov summed up.
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