Ukraine's full-scale rapprochement with the EU, including further EU membership, remains a strategic priority for Ukraine and a key issue of national security, Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Andriy Kliuyev said at the "EU-Ukraine Relations: The Road Ahead" roundtable in Brussels, ForUm learned from the press office of the Party of Regions.

He stressed that the relevant provision was contained in the laws on the principles of Ukraine's national security and on the principles of foreign and domestic policy, and that this was the basis for the activities of the authorities in Ukraine.

Andriy Kliuyev said that European integration also remained an important issue for the sphere of national security, which he will now deal with.

He said that his task as Council Secretary was to strengthen Ukraine's security and competitiveness in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres.

He said that a top priority in ensuring political stability based on common values with the EU was the holding of fair, democratic and transparent parliamentary elections in October, as well as the successful holding of judicial and constitutional reforms. Kliuyev noted that Ukraine was continuing to reform criminal law to bring it closer to European standards. He said Ukraine's leadership was committed to ensuring a free and transparent electoral process.

In the context of energy security, Kliuyev said that Ukraine would continue to walk the European path, reducing energy use and improving the economy's energy efficiency. He expressed hope that Ukraine and Russia would reach a compromise on the revision of the gas price, despite the complexity of the negotiations.

Kliuyev also stressed the importance of the speedy initialing of the EU-Ukraine association agreement. He then spoke about the steps being taken by Ukraine to switch to the next stage of the visa-free dialog with the EU. He said that the issue concerned the submission to the Verkhovna Rada of a new bill on biometric passports.

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