Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yatsenyuk Sees Ukraine-EU Summit On Sept 14 As Planned

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The Ukraine-EU summit will take place on September 14 in Kiev, as earlier scheduled, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk told journalists on July 17 after a working visit to Brussels.

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in Brussels on July 17, 2007.

He met with EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner and European Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson.

The political crisis in Ukraine did not impact Kiev's relations with the European Union, Yatsenyuk said. "An important message I am bringing to Ukraine is that the summit will take place, and it will take place in September. Thus, nothing is threatening Ukrainian-EU relations," Yatsenyuk said.

The minister also confirmed that a report on progress at talks on a new Ukrainian-EU basic agreement will be presented at the summit. "I hope 2008 will be the year of signing a new basic agreement," he said.

Yatsenyuk also said that it is necessary that early parliamentary elections in Ukraine are held in line with democratic standards.

"Democratic and transparent elections are a clear sign that Ukraine is a developing society that can integrate into Europe. Thus, it is absolutely clear that the more democratic and transparent the elections are, the more progress we will achieve. This will be a test for Ukraine's political system, whether the country is ready to enter Europe," Yatsenyuk said.

Solana underlined the importance of a free and fair poll. The elections should lead to a stable government able to implement important political and economic reforms.

As regards international and regional issues, Solana and Yatsenyuk exchanged views on the efforts to solve the Transdnestria conflict in Moldova, Kosovo and the current state of play concerning the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

Following his meeting with Yatsenyuk, Mendelson said is confident that Ukraine's WTO accession will open new opportunities in bilateral relations between Kyiv and Brussels.

Europe is looking forward to Ukraine's accession to the WTO because it opens doors for other options in bilateral relations, he said in Brussels.

Mendelson said Ukraine's membership in the WTO is an matter for the near-term.

As EU commissioner he has worked closely enough with the government of Ukraine to be sure that the WTO and Ukraine would soon reach agreement on this issue and Ukraine would join the WTO soon, he said.

In response to a question, Mendelson said he was unaware of any link between Ukraine's WTO accession and Russia's.

Yatsenyuk said that Russia has its own path to WTO entry, just as Ukraine does. "We should not do anything in common with Russia in the sense of any synchronization," he said.

Source: New Europe

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