Solana Says EU`s Relations With Ukraine Closer Than Ever

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine and the European Union (EU) are establishing a relationship closer than ever before, the 25-nation bloc`s foreign policy chief said here on Tuesday.

Javier Solana, while on a one-day working visit to Ukraine, made the remarks after meeting with President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko (R) invites European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana to the table for negotiations as they meet in Kiev

EU-Ukrainian relations have benefited from Ukraine`s efforts of the past six months on political and economic reforms, Solana said at a press conference.

He also praised Ukraine for its implementation of a three-year joint action plan, signed in Brussels in February, which asked the country to carry out reforms in some fields to meet EU standards.

Solana said the EU will soon recognize Ukraine as a market economy and expressed his hope that the country`s bid to join the World Trade Organization would be successful as soon as possible.

Yushchenko was even more optimistic about the rapid development of bilateral relations.

The "fulfillment of the planning points (discussed with Solana) will create the possibility of shifting relations between Ukraine and the EU from the partnership stage to the integration stage," the president said.

Source: AngolaPress