Ukraine Takes up CEI Presidency
KYIV, Ukraine, January 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Ukraine assumes chairmanship at the Central European Initiative for the period of
2012. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko highlighted the
importance of active participation of Ukraine in the work of this regional organization
given the country’s strategic goal to integrate with the EU.
Ukraine replaces Serbia that presided over the CEI in 2011. In August of 2011 the
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych assigned the Prime Minister to prepare for the CEI
presidency. On November 11, 2011, the Secretary General of the CEI – Ambassador Gerhard
Pfanzelter visited Kyiv in preparations for the presidency of Ukraine. The representatives
of both parties agreed on the importance of deepening of cooperation between the macro
regions within the CEI – the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Adriatic-Ionic, and the Danube.
Such cooperation would serve the goals of the international organization that aims to
promote political, social-economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation, as well as
strengthen safety and secure stability of the region. Moreover, during the meeting in Kyiv
the sides expressed full support to the core CEI missions to promote regional cooperation
for European integration.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko noted that Ukraine
considered the European Strategy for the Danube Region (ESDR) an important initiative that
could enhance regional cooperation in the Danube area. He also emphasized that cooperation
with the EU remained one of the main priorities of the Initiative.
On December 9, 2011, the CEI was granted the UN observer status, reported the official
CEI Web site http://www.ceinet.org. The Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov claimed to
be eager to explore the opportunities this new status gives the CEI and its member states.
Prime Minister Azarov suggested holding a meeting of member states’ finance ministers at
the beginning of 2012. The aim of the meeting would be to jointly elaborate a way to
overcome the financial crisis.
Formed in 1989, the CEI is a forum for regional cooperation in Central, Eastern, and
South Eastern Europe. Ukraine has been cooperating with the CEI since 1992. By 1994
Ukraine became an associate member and already in 1996 acquired full membership in the
organization. 2012 is the year when Ukraine assumes the chairmanship at the CEI for the
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine