On March 5, 2012 Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko took part in the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership countries, held in Prague, FM spokesman Oleksandr Dykusarov told a briefing, ForUm correspondent reports.

In addition to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the meeting was attended by special guests—Denmark as the current Presidency of the European Union, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.

The meeting discussed the Visegrad Group's joint activities in Eastern Partnership countries and approved the rules for the new "Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership" program that is to be implemented by the International Visegrad Fund.

Also on the agenda was a debate on a roadmap for the Eastern Partnership. A seminar of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations and experts from the Visegrad Group and the six Eastern Partnership countries, was held on the eve of the meeting, on 2 March 2012.

In his speech FM Hryshchenko described Kyiv's approaches to the Road map "Eastern Partnership" and focused on strengthening of its role in the course of reforms in the countries-partners. Ukraine's Minister noted that renewed European neighboring policy and its principle "bigger for bigger" should be also directed to the support of future implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, including liberalization of visa regime.

Hryshcnenko and present representatives of the European Union confirmed the intention of the sides to ratify the Association Agreement by the end of the first quarter of this year.

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