KYIV, Ukraine, October 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Konstantyn Gryshchenko has welcomed "as positive and constructive" the remarks made this week by the new European Union Ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Tombinski, in which he said he hoped for the technical approval of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the end of the year.
Ambassador Tombinski, who took office last month, said that "very thorough technical work on this document is being carried out" and that "we hope to finish this work by the end of this year, possibly by the end of November."
He noted that the text of the Association Agreement is currently translated into the languages of all EU member states, but stressed that "all of the necessary political criteria have to be fulfilled" before the EU countries take a decision, so that they have "no doubt that Ukraine is eager to move towards the association with the EU."
The Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine further said he opposed the idea of any sanctions being introduced for Ukraine, as they might not provide for positive changes for the country.
"Sanctions can be introduced easily, but it is difficult to cancel them," he said, adding that there should be good reasons for their introduction.
"I think that both Ukraine and the European Union deserve a better future," Tombinski said.
Gryshchenko welcomed Tombinski's statements and reiterated Ukraine's deep commitment to European integration, noting that the Association Agreement would be "a tool to promote further reforms and democracy in Ukraine according to best European standards."
But Gryshchenko also stressed that the Association Agreement is also of interest for the EU - the 27-member organisation, which has just been awarded the Nobel Prize - due to Ukraine's vast agricultural resources, its crucial role in energy security and transport, and its geo-strategic location, acting as a bridge between the EU and Russia.
"It's a win-win agreement," Gryshchenko said.
With the country heading for parliamentary elections on October 28th, Gryshchenko further pointed to Tombinski's remarks that there is no censorship in Ukraine. "It again illustrates that there is no government interference and that there will be clean and fair elections," Gryshchenko said.
Tombinski said earlier this week: "Considering what I have seen here, I can say there is no censorship and there is complete freedom of self-expression in Ukraine."
SOURCE Eye on Ukraine