Ukraine still wants to forge closer ties with the EU and is seeking eventual membership, said Yanukovych, urging the trading bloc to treat the Association Agreement separately from the Tymoshenko case.

But, according to the President, Ukraine is ready to delay the association agreement with the EU, should it not include the possibility of future membership.

"If Europe isn’t ready for that because of any reason, or Ukraine is not ready, it means the decision may be conducted later," the Bloomberg news agency quoted Yanukovych as saying.

At the same time Yanukovych pointed out that the Association Agreement, which reflects prospects for Ukraine to join the EU, "is very important to us."

"Criminal cases against Tymoshenko should be separated from Ukraine’s integration to the EU," he told foreign reporters.

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