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Ukrainian President concerned by Eastern Partnership delays

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 3
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is concerned about the way the negotiations over the Eastern Partnership Programme (EPP) are proceeding. Yushchenko is sure that the initiative should not only include assistance projects but also the creation of new mechanisms to facilitate the real integration of partner countries with the EU. Yushchenko is seeking institutional changes, regional development, an integrated system of managing borders in compliance with EU norms and cooperation in the sphere of energy supply.

The Presidentís statement is in accord with the statement the Swedish Prime Minister made on July 2, when he expressed his concern over the temporary slowing down of the implementation of the Eastern Partnership Programme, which was approved by the EU in 2008 and launched this May. It envisages the further strengthening of relations with six post-Soviet countries: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It included creating free trade and better visa regimes with those countries. EPP does not include offering EU membership however.