The prime ministers of Sweden and Ukraine Friday discussed Ukraine`s efforts to form closer ties with the European Union. Sweden hoped to see an association agreement in place between the 27-nation bloc and Ukraine during Sweden`s six-month presidency of the EU next year, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko said she expected a pending "strategic agreement" with Russia would resolve and "normalize" issues like gas supplies, the day after it was reported that Russia wanted Ukraine to repay a 2.4-billion-dollar gas debt.

Touching on bilateral ties, both premiers noted that trade between Sweden and Ukraine had increased in recent years.

DPA via Earth Times