Ukraine hopes to seal partnership with EU in November
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said here Thursday his country hoped to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU) during the Eastern Partnership summit in November, according to Xinhua.
"I am convinced that our efforts will lead to success. We hope that, in November in Vilnius, the association agreement and a free trade zone deal will be signed," Yanukovych said during a meeting with foreign diplomats.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius, Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and Danish Minister for European Affairs Nicolaj Wammen took part in the meeting.
Yanukovych told the ministers Kiev highly appreciated the support of its European partners on the path toward EU integration.
Sikorski welcomed the recent progress of reforms in Ukraine, especially in the justice sphere.
"Certainly, reforms have a positive impact on relations between Ukraine and the European Union. But, in our opinion, they are especially important for Ukraine," Sikorski said.
He also said European politicians welcomed Yanukovych's decision to pardon former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko.
Brussels and Kiev initialed a deal in March last year that includes arrangements for a free-trade area and easing the EU visa regime for Ukrainian citizens.
The 27-member bloc postponed the signing of the document in May, faulting court system shortcomings and a lack of reform in Ukraine.
November's Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital brings together the EU and ex-Soviet countries on its eastern frontier.