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Estonia Hopes for Quick Integration of Moldova and Ukraine with European Union

12.04.2011

No. 123-E

At meetings held today in Luxemburg with the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that Estonia supports the rapid integration of Ukraine and Moldova with the European Union as well as implementing visa-free travel with these countries very soon.

At the meeting of the European Union Friends of Ukraine group with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia supports continuing the visa dialogue between the European Union and Ukraine with the goal of bringing the process to a close as quickly as possible in order to waive visas. “European Union citizens have been able to enter Ukraine without a visa for six years already, so we should waive the visa requirement for Ukrainian citizens travelling to the EU soon,” he asserted.

Paet stated that it is possible that negotiations for the EU-Ukraine association and free trade agreement will be completed this year. “In terms of the free trade agreement, the European Union should continue requesting liberalisation that is as broad as possible from Ukraine, while also offering the same from its side,” he said.

At the meeting of the Friends of Moldova group with Moldovan Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stressed that Estonia supports Moldova’s endeavours to begin negotiations for a free trade agreement in the summer of this year. “Kicking off the negotiation process would help to encourage the Moldovan government and the whole society to carry out reforms,” Paet noted. Estonia supports continuing the visa dialogue between the European Union and Moldova with the goal of waiving visas as soon as possible.

While talking about the Transnistria conflict, Paet emphasised that the European Union should take on a larger role in helping to resolve the conflict. “Making Moldova more attractive by, among other things, developing infrastructure with the support of the European Union, combined with the free movement of people and achieving visa freedom, will provide the best opportunity for resolving the Transnistria conflict,” he added. Foreign Minister Paet asserted that Estonia continues to be ready to contribute to areas where Estonia has valuable experiences to share regarding carrying out reforms. “For example, Estonia’s Centre for Eastern Partnership is organising a conflict negotiation course for the Moldovan officials involved in the Transnistria issue,” said Paet.

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