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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Closer relationship between Ukraine and EU requires changes from all of Ukrainian society

30.08.2011

No. 280-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko last night at the Nordic-Baltic 8 meeting in Helsinki to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine as well as Ukraine's cooperation with the European Union.

Paet stressed that Estonia supports a fast track to closer integration between Ukraine and the European Union, but said in order for that to happen Ukraine will have to carry out the necessary reforms. "All of Ukraine's internal developments, including adherence to the principles of the rule of law play a significant role,“ said Paet. The Foreign Minister added that the trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko must be independent and transparent and likewise take place in accordance with the rule of law.

Paet expressed hope that the negotiations toward an Association Agreement with free trade provisions between the European Union and Ukraine will be completed by the summit taking place in December. "Visa talks must also make vigorous progress so that it would be possible to establish visa free travel between the European Union and Ukraine, considering that citizens of EU countries have been able to travel to Ukraine visa-free for several years already,“ said Paet.

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