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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement of President Barroso following the EU-Ukraine Summit

Joint press conference with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Brussels, 22 November 2010

Good afternoon.

It was a pleasure to receive President Yanukovych for the already 14th EU-Ukraine Summit.

President Yanukovych is indeed the non-EU leader that we met the most in the last months – a good sign of how dynamic our relationship is.

We did indeed have a very ambitious agenda for our summit today. Let me just outline two concrete results:

The Visa Action Plan for Ukraine and the Protocol for Ukraine's access to EU programmes. These are very important decisions that bring concrete benefits to Ukrainian citizens.

Those agreements also reflect our common ambition and vision: We both want far-reaching economic integration and political association between Ukraine and the European Union.

We believe next year will be very important for EU-Ukraine relationship in three areas:

  • We want to conclude our new Association Agreement by mid-2011.

  • We want to see progress on Ukraine’s democratic reform agenda. This is indeed essential for an open and modern society.

  • And we are ready to support Ukraine’s leadership moving ahead with its economic reforms.

I would also like to highlight the importance of energy. I particularly welcome the very strong political statement made by President Yanukovych during our summit today: that we will never have a gas crisis anymore like the ones we had before.

That is why the triangular relationship between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union is so important. This afternoon there will be a meeting here in Brussels between the Commissioner for Energy Mr Oettinger, the Minister for Energy of Ukraine and the Minster for Energy of the Russian Federation to discuss energy relations.

So both in terms of concrete deliverables and in terms of the quality of our dialogue, it was a successful summit. Ukraine is not just a very close neighbour; it is a close partner and a crucial player for our common European future.

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