Victor Yushchenko has written a letter to President Jacques Chirac of France to confirm his invitation to visit Ukraine in January-February 2007, according to the President`s press-office. He hopes Mr. Chirac’s visit will help nurture ties between Ukraine and France, discuss prospects for the implementation of the Ukraine-France "road map" and also sign new bilateral agreements.

      The President said Ukraine was eager to cooperate with the French Republic, “the big European country with which we have traditionally had friendly relations and carried out numerous programs.”

      “We appreciate France’s experience and support for Ukraine’s bid to join the World Trade Organization and to integrate with the European Union by implementing a number of joint projects. This is what Ukraine’s Foreign Minister will tell his colleague when visiting Paris on October 19,” he said.

      Mr. Yushchenko assured his colleague Ukraine would not change its foreign course.

      “I will use all my constitutional powers for that. At the same time, we spare no effort to maintain friendly and equal relations with our northern neighbor, Russia,” he added.

      The President also wrote Ukraine was now going through a challenging phase of its democratic development.

      “The new government has been formed. Parliament is restoring its constructive work. Together we are continuing to take measures aimed at developing the country economically and politically and building practical relations with our foreign partners,” he said.