Ukrainian President: European Integration is People’s Choice
Kyiv, October 18, 2011. The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych confirmed the European integration as the fundamental foreign policy goal for Ukraine. The Ukrainian president said that he would persist in integrating his country to the EU since it’s the choice of the Ukrainian people. During his meeting with the international journalists on Monday, October 17, 2011, Viktor Yanukovych clarified his political position.
The President of Ukraine noted that the European integration of Ukraine had lasted for a while and that a lot had been done towards accomplishing this mission. Viktor Yanukovych said that the EU and Ukraine are partners. He does not consider it necessary to ask for favors and called on the West to respect his country. The President also confirmed his intention to come to Brussels on October 20, 2011, to meet the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.
Viktor Yanukovych stated that he wanted to include the statement about Ukraine’s membership in the EU in the Association Agreement despite the reported reluctance of the European partners.
The Ukrainian president refuted the rumors about Ukraine possibly joining the trade bloc with Russia, reports The Wall Street Journal. The President specified that the membership of Ukraine in the World Trade Organization as well as its goal to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union had prevented Ukraine from becoming a part of such a bloc.
The next round of negotiations between the EU and Ukraine on the Association Agreement is scheduled on December 15, 2011. The summit Ukraine-EU will be held in the Ukrainian capital and is expected to be the concluding stage of the negotiations on the Association Agreement. Previously, both Ukraine and the EU expressed their intention to sign the Association Agreement by the end of 2011. This spring both parties noted that 90% of Free Trade Agreement positions – integral part of the Association Agreement – had been agreed upon.
Association is an instrument of the European Neighbourhood Policy – a foreign policy of the European Union with an objective to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines between the EU and its neighbours. The Policy was established in 2004 to strengthen stability, endorse security, and stimulate prosperity in the 16 closest neighboring countries.