Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers DiscussUkraine’s European Union Integration

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Press Division
18 February 2008

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in a meeting of the Nordic-Baltic (NB6) foreign ministers on the evening of Sunday, 17 February. The meeting took place within the framework of the European Union General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) session. The Polish and Ukrainian foreign ministers also participated. Relations between Ukraine and the EU, including trade relations, were discussed.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia has been a steady supporter of Ukraine’s European Union aspirations. “The European Union’s active involvement with Ukraine will inspire the nation to continue its reforms,” said Paet. “Ukraine should take its next steps towards harmonising legislation with the EU, which is also in the EU’s immediate interests,” Paet added.

The foreign ministers welcomed Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to the Estonian foreign minister, negotiations should begin for a European Union-Ukraine free trade agreement. “In order for negotiations to be successful, Ukraine must try to complete its domestic goals on time,” Paet noted. “Ukraine must first and foremost ratify the WTO agreement,” the foreign minister added.

The foreign ministers expressed satisfaction over the agreement reached by Ukraine and the EU to extend their European Neighbourhood Policy action plan by one year. According to Foreign Minister Paet, the visa facilitation and readmission agreement signed with Ukraine will certainly help to intensify EU-Ukraine contacts and co-operation.

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