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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Met With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko

19.10.2011

At his meeting today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Ukraine should move significantly faster to reform its legal system and criminal code, since the conviction of Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the harsh sentence given to her were a disappointment to the European Union. “Ukraine is a very important partner of the European Union and Estonia has always supported Ukraine in growing closer to the European Union, but the conviction of Tymoshenko could affect the co-operation between the European Union and Ukraine,” Paet added.

Paet stated that the court case demonstrated that not enough reforms have been done to bring Ukraine’s justice system and criminal code into accordance with the standards of the European Union’s legal system. “In order to avoid similar situations in the future it is necessary for Ukraine to continue reforming its justice system. We are prepared to help Ukraine in carrying out the necessary updates, share our reform experiences, and advise the country on establishing an enduring democracy that is rooted in honouring rule of law and human rights,” he stated.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that it is in the strategic interests of both the European Union and Ukraine to conclude an association agreement and institute free trade.

Paet said that Estonia’s goal is to support Ukraine through European Union Eastern Partnership and development co-operation, and Ukraine will remain one of Estonia’s development co-operation priority partner countries in the upcoming years. “Our primary co-operation areas could be supporting Ukraine’s public sector reform and European integration and implementing e-governance and information technology solutions in public services; we could also help in the energy efficiency and education sectors,” he noted. “The Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership is also prepared for closer co-operation with Ukraine. For example, at the end of October an e-governance training will be held in Tallinn, and Ukrainian officials will be among those in attendance,” he added.

Photos from the meeting of the Estonian and Ukrainian foreign ministers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/

You can listen to the press conference of the Estonian and Ukrainian foreign ministers here:
http://www.vm.ee/?q=node/10615

Communiqué of the meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Republic of Estonia


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