Polish FM confirms strategic nature of relations with Ukraine

09:19, 05 March 2008
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Poland looks at Ukraine as a future member of "our European family" - Sikorski

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Tuesday Polish and Ukrainian prime ministers would almost certainly meet in March and "this confirmed a strategic nature" of Polish-Ukrainian relations, according to Xinhua.

    "Poland is looking at Ukraine as its neighbor and future member of our European and euroatlantic family," Sikorski said after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Ohryzko.

    "Let me confirm that Prime Minister Donald Tusk`s policy is a continuation of the 19-year-long tradition of governments of independent Poland which was the first country to recognize Ukraine`s independence," Sikorski was quoted by Polish news agency PAP as saying.

    Further, Sikorski assured his Ukrainian counterpart of Poland`s support of Ukrainian advances toward the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, saying Ukraine was a strategic partner for Poland.

    "Our Polish colleagues support us on the European and euroatlantic road. Let me thank for this," Ohryzko, who is on a one-day visit to Poland, said, adding that he was really very glad that Polish-Ukrainian relations were developing on such top level.

    Meanwhile, Ukraine and Poland Tuesday sealed a petty border traffic accord allowing visa-free travel to Poland for Ukrainians in the border zone. The accord was signed in Warsaw by Ohryzko and Sikorski.

    This is another step confirming the strong friendship ties and strategic partnership linking the two countries, Sikorski said.

    Poland is a member of the Schengen agreement which allows visa-free traffic between members, while Ukraine is not. Visa-free traffic between the two countries ended when Poland joined the Schengen region on Dec. 21, 2007.

    Under the proposed agreement, Ukrainians and Poles living up to50 kilometers from each side of the border could travel to the other country with a special permit valid for two years and allowing unbroken residence for 60 days.

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