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Four EU Member States Want Association With Ukraine in 2013 - EUobserver

KYIV, Ukraine, November 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia want to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine at the autumn 2013 Eastern Partnership Summit, to be held in Vilnus. The document will open perspectives for Ukrainian citizens and "impose European agenda on the Ukrainian leadership", report diplomatic sources per EUobserver.

At the same time, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden advocate for the slowdown of the association process, reads the article. The countries have concerns about the political situation in Ukraine. "France and the UK are keeping a low profile in the debate, while reports indicate that Germany is undecided," notes EUobserver.

"The Ukrainian side has delivered a message that they are engaged with the EU integration perspective, that they are still looking to the EU as their main partner, so we do not want to throw this away," EUobserver quotes the source.

Earlier in November 2012, the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski stated that the results of the October 28 parliamentary elections in Ukraine showed the success of pro-European spirit in the country. The Polish official said that all political parties that made it to the Ukrainian parliament, but the communists, declared European integration of the country as one of their goals.

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovcyh, as well as the Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine Andriy Klyuyev reiterated Ukraine's commitment to European integration in their statements in November 2012. European integration has been a long-term foreign policy goal for Ukraine. The country began negotiations with the EU in 1999. By 2008 the sides agreed to eventually sign the Association Agreement.

In July 2012, Ukraine and the EU initialed the full text of the Association Agreement, including both political and economic parts. The political chapter regulates EU - Ukraine relations on political level, while the economic part stipulates the introduction of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

Additionally, Ukraine seeks to simplify visa regime with the EU. Currently, Ukraine is at stage one of the two-stage Visa Liberalization Action Plan. In November 2012, Polish official Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz said the EU might drop visas with Ukraine before signing the Association Agreement.

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