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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
Jean Asselborn in Kiev: EU support for the economic and political reform process in Ukraine

Date of release : 30-03-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-Ukraine (Troika)

Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and current President of the Council of the European Union, led the European Troika delegation at the ministerial meeting between the European Union and Ukraine in Kiev on 30 March 2005.

Ukraine was represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Boris Tarassiouk. Besides Minister Asselborn, those participating on behalf of the European Union included the European Commissioner responsible for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and British Minister for Europe, Denis MacShane.

During its visit to Ukraine, the European Troika also met President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Timochenko to discuss the priorities of the new coalition government in Kiev, particularly with regard to the political and economic reforms and the measures announced to combat corruption.

After the talks, Jean Asselborn stated that the ministerial meeting had enabled them to touch on "internal developments in Ukraine and within the European Union, our mutual relations, particularly the implementation of the action plan between the European Union and Ukraine, as well as various current regional and international topics: Russia, Moldavia, Georgia and Kyrgyizstan."

Underlining that the action plan adopted in Brussels on 21 February 2005 would enable the two parties to establish a solid and effective partnership, the European Troika confirmed the European Union’s wish to support the process of democratisation and transition in Ukraine. The President of the Council assured "the Ukrainian authorities of the European Union’s full support for the new government’s implementation of economic, political and institutional reforms".

"The Luxembourg Presidency is committed to working together with Ukraine to strengthen relations between the European Union and Ukraine, and we shall draw up a first evaluation of our progress at the next Cooperation Council in Luxembourg on 13 June. Furthering our relations will depend to a large extent on Ukraine’s progress with implementing internal reforms and reforms aimed at bringing Ukrainian legislation into line with that of the European Union", said Jean Asselborn.

On the question of a possible easing of the visa system between Ukraine and the European Union, the Commission has indicated that negotiations on this issue could begin at a technical level in a few months.

Furthermore, the European Union and Ukraine examined the possibility of closer cooperation between the EU, Ukraine and Moldova with a view to resolving the conflict in Transnistria. The recent nomination of a special EU representative for Moldova should facilitate this cooperation, particularly with regard to the demarcation of the border between Ukraine and Moldova and an improvement in the border infrastructure.

At a brief press conference, Minister Asselborn also expressed his admiration for the "peaceful revolution in Ukraine, a country which is now well on the way to becoming a stable, dynamic and prosperous neighbour of the European Union." He added: "More democracy will bring more stability, both within Ukraine and with regard to its relations with its neighbours."

This page was last modified on : 30-03-2005

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