Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko participated in the meeting of Friends of Ukraine in the EU at the level of Foreign Ministers, which was held in Luxembourg on April 12, 2011.
The meeting was organized by Ministers for Foreign affairs of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski and of Sweden Carl Bildt.
The main issues discussed were prospects of finalization of negotiations on Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, implementation of visa liberalization Action Plan by Ukraine, internal political, social and economic processes in Ukraine and their development, as well as cooperation with EU on regional and international issues, namely Transnistria conflict settlement and situation in Libya.
The Minister briefed his European counterparts on main messages of President of Ukraine annual address; he confirmed the persistence of the country’s line towards European integration and emphasized the commitment of the leadership of Ukraine to implement political, social and economic reforms targeted to unify with the EU standards and legislation.
Ministers confirmed their mutual aspiration for finalizing the negotiations on Association Agreement including creation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in 2011, as well as for achievement of progress in fulfillment of the first legislative stage of the visa liberalization Action Plan. A special attention was paid to granting Ukraine a European perspective and acceleration the introduction of visa free regime for Ukrainian citizens.
The Foreign Ministers of EU Member States assured in their full support of the Ukrainian leadership policy on implementation of system reforms. The participants welcomed the confirmation of Ukraine’s commitment to the European integration that was announced in the President’s address. EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Mr. Füle, who participated in the meeting, noted the importance of European Commission President José Barroso visit to Ukraine on 18-19 April 2011.
Current issues of international agenda, prospects of negotiations continuation on Transnistria conflict settlement in 5+2 format were also discussed. Ministers of the EU Member States appreciated greatly Ukraine’s role in humanitarian operations in Libya and expressed their gratitude to the Ukrainian side for evacuation of foreign nationals from Libya by Kostiantyn Olshanskiy warship.
Mr. Gryshchenko thanked the European side for a proactive approach in raising funds for completion of Chornobyl projects, including Shelter project.