Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Former European Commission President Encourages EU to Sign Association Agreement With Ukraine

June 19, 2013

KYIV, Ukraine, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Former President of the European Commission Romano Prodi called for the EU to bring
Ukraine closer to Europe as he reckoned such actions would encourage further progress of
Ukraine. He expressed such an opinion in his Financial Times guest post “EU and Ukraine
Must Build a Bridge Between East and West.”

In his address, Italian politician referred to Ukraine’s 46 million of educated
workers, the country’s strong export potential and promising agricultural sector, which
could help revitalize Europe in the face of economic stagnation and turmoil.

Mentioning May 2013 signing of the memorandum on improving Ukraine – Customs Union
cooperation, Prodi emphasized that now was the right moment to strengthen the links
between Ukraine and Europe.

He paid special attention to the uniqueness of the opportunity that the political
leaders of Europe were facing. “It is rare that world leaders have a chance to
pragmatically achieve an idealistic goal, to unite bold dreams and careful statesmanship
at the same time,” he noted.

In his more than 700-word article, Prodi highlighted Kyiv’s steps to be more active
and responsible as an international actor. The Eastern European country got rid of its
nuclear weapons and actively cooperates with the UN and NATO, he commented.

In March 2012, Ukraine completely removed the last of its highly enriched uranium.
Currently, Ukraine is disposing of 133,000 tons of obsolete ammunition under the 12-year
NATO Partnership Trust Fund project. Launched in 2006, the project has entered its second
stage in April 2012 to focus on destruction of conventional munitions, small arms, and
three million PFM-1 landmines.

In June 2013, Ukraine announced its intention to become a non-permanent member of the
United Nations Security Council for 2016-2017. Previously, it served as a non-permanent
member back in 1948-1949, and 2001.

Ukraine remains a notable contributor to the global peace through its peacekeeping
operations across the globe. Since 1992, approximately 37,000 Ukrainian military
participated in international peacekeeping missions in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and in
Central American Guatemala. Ukraine still carries out peacekeeping operations in
Afghanistan, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo, Transnistria, and South Sudan.

Ukraine hopes to sign the Association Agreement with the EU at the Vilnius Eastern
Partnership Summit in November 2013.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine

Source: PR Newswire