"It is important for us to sign the association agreement, which contains clear EU membership prospects for Ukraine. If the EU is not prepared for this or we're not prepared for this, then this decision cannot be made right now, but only when both sides are prepared for this. Today we at least have political will for this. We also feel that the Ukrainian people want this. Therefore, we currently see no grounds to delay this matter," Yanukovych said.
The president promised to do everything he can "to ensure that this agreement contains a passage about [Ukraine's] future EU membership."
When asked whether the signing of the agreement with the EU could fail due to the case of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych said: "I'm not clairvoyant and a prophet. We are in the process discussions on which will continue. All points of view have a right to be heard and to be respected. However, we often get the impression that others simply don't want to listen to what we have to say. The debate concerning the Tymoshenko case is actually far from being completed. "
As reported, on October 17, Yanukovych said in an interview with Bloomberg that Kyiv was ready to move the signing of the association agreement and the creation of a free trade area with the EU to a later date if European leaders are not ready for this in connection with the "Tymoshenko case."
It was planned that the agreement on association and the creation of a free trade area would be finalized in December and ratified next summer.
The European Commission announced on October 18 that the Ukrainian president's visit to Brussels, which was scheduled for October 20, had been postponed until a later time when conditions are more suitable to continue negotiations on the association agreement.
The Ukrainian opposition described the cancellation of the president's visit to Brussels as backsliding on Ukraine's European integration.
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