In a Europe Day radio address to the nation, Victor Yushchenko said Ukraine’s integration with the European Union was mutually beneficial, according to the President’s press-office.
“We need Europe but Europe needs us too, for Ukraine can give a powerful impulse to many European projects,” he opined.
The President explained that Ukraine could help Europe no longer be energy dependent by building new oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian region or new transportation routes.
In its turn, Ukraine must introduce profound judicial, economic, energy and social reforms. “This great challenge calls for political consolidation and political will but also great professionalism and responsibility,” he said.
The Head of State pledged to spare no effort to ensure that Ukraine makes a great breakthrough in this direction during his presidency. He said, in 2005, we had already done more than ever before, with the Ukraine-EU turnover reaching USD 20 bln and the export rate increasing by 60%.
“Now it is important not to slow down. We have implemented a considerable part of the Ukraine-EU Action Plan and hope to establish a new dialogue with Europe. We want to sign a free trade agreement and an associated membership protocol with the European Union, which will open the doors of EU before Ukraine,” he said.
Ukraine and the European Union are currently engaged in negotiations to liberalize visa requirements for our citizens.
“This path is painstaking but we will go to its end for the sake of our people,” he promised.
The President also said practically all political parties in parliament supported Ukraine’s integration with EU.
“I believe the Verkhovna Rada will form a coalition that will formulate European rules. I am sure our pre-election slogans should now be put into effect.”