Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ukraine: European Commissioner Stefan Fuele - European Integration of Ukraine is Progressing

Stefan Fuele, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy in his Brussels meeting with Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian opposition leader, informed the latter of the progress of Ukraine's integration into the European Union.

"I hope to conclude the negotiations on Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in the course of this year, and I have passed this information to Mrs. Tymoshenko," said Fuele.

During the meeting the Ukrainian opposition leader stated that Ukrainian president simulates the European choice by not fully implementing the Association agenda (the agenda foresees a number of reforms, which are meant to bring Ukraine and EU closer). In his turn, the European Commissioner noted that the negotiation process, has its ups and downs.

He specifically pointed out, that earlier this year Ukraine and the EU have signed Memorandum of Understanding, which features the National Indicative Program (NIP) for Ukraine with a three-year budget of 470 million euros ($650 million). The NIP is aimed at boosting the rule of law and good governance in the country.

According to Fuele, EU pays close attention to the state of democratic values in Ukraine. "The pace and quality of Ukraine-EU integration will largely depend on respecting human rights, democratic principles, and rule-of-law (in Ukraine. - Ed)," stated Fuele.

Fuele reiterated the importance of the criminal law not be used for political ends, Kyiv Post reports. He also highlighted that the respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law are fundamental and cannot be compromised. He also noted that the pace and depth of the EU's rapprochement with Ukraine will be determined by full respect for these values.

The meeting took place within the framework of Mrs. Tymoshenko first visit to the EU since the time when the criminal case has been filed against her in Ukraine. Tymoshenko is accused of misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars received by Ukraine under the Kyoto Protocol, which should have been invested into environmental programs. In addition, Yulia Tymoshenko is charged with embezzlement of state funds while procuring ambulances at inflated prices.

Earlier, an international audit of Tymoshenko's government has revealed numerous financial irregularities including failure to follow proper tender procedures while making state procurements.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine