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Brussels, 2 March 2011

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine

I am very happy to welcome to Brussels Deputy Prime Minister Kluyev. This is our second meeting this year. We intend to stay in close contact as Mr Kluyev is one of our key interlocutors in the on-going discussions between the EU and Ukraine, who is demonstrating a dynamic approach.

Today, we discussed in particular our Association Agreement negotiations, including the provisions setting up a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). There has been progress. I took that opportunity to remind Deputy Prime Minister Kluyev that the DCFTA is part of a broader Association Agreement which includes crucial elements on human rights, democracy and fundamental freedoms. It is essential to the success of the Agreement that progress is made by the Ukrainian side in these areas. In this context, I underlined our strong desire to see critical reforms in Ukraine pursued as quickly as possible, especially on the constitutional, judicial and electoral fronts.

I reminded the Deputy Prime Minister of President Yanukovych’s commitment to draft an election code through an open and inclusive process. A proper legislative framework is crucial for the democratic legitimacy of future elections in Ukraine – we would like to see an election code which meets European standards, which is embraced by all elements of Ukrainian society, and which stands the test of time.     

Finally, we discussed the €470 million national indicative programme of EU assistance to Ukraine which we are launching today. This will focus on Good Governance and the Rule of Law, on the preparations for the entry into force of our Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, and on Sustainable Development. We are already working with Ukraine on formulating specific programmes of support under these priority areas. I was very happy to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine with Mr Kluyev today.

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