Victor Yushchenko gave an interview to UT-1 and ICTV on Wednesday, according to the President`s press-office.

“The nation’s foreign priorities have not changed, as they are stipulated by the constitution, particularly by the Law on the Fundamentals of Defense and Security Policy,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s bid to join the EU was our “legal and explicitly declared goal.”

The President said our country sought “economic and political association” with the EU. He described Ukraine as an “integral part of the European continent” and said its history had contributed to European values.

“When we are speaking about the talks [on an enhanced cooperation agreement between Ukraine and the EU], which started on March 5, we are not speaking about some particular date, year or month for what we call associated political membership or direct economic integration, but it is very important for Ukraine to see the ‘lighthouse’ of EU membership,” he said.

The President said Ukrainians should decide what their interests in Europe are in order to know when Ukraine will be a member of the European Union.

“There is only one benefit: Europe offers unique opportunities helping fulfill democratic, social and economic values.” 

He said Ukraine was Europe’s prominent energy partner.

“On the one hand, there is Russia’s monopolistic energy presence. On the other hand, there is the West’s monopolistic consumer presence. But there are also Ukraine’s capabilities which we constructively offer to both sides, and this is the essence of Europe’s energy policy in the future.”

He said Ukraine must thus promote itself as one of the biggest transit countries and seek to integrate with the European wholesale energy market, which “corresponds to our interests.”