Ukraine President to Take Part in EU Vilnius Summit

Bulgaria in EU | November 26, 2013, Tuesday // 19:27|  views

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych will take part in the EU Eastern Partnership summit meeting Thursday and Friday in Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

This was announced Tuesday by Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov and confirmed by President Yanukovych.

The summit, part of Lithuania's rotational EU presidency, was expected to involve the signing of a long-awaited Association Agreement betweeen the EU and Ukraine.

But last week, the Ukrainian goverment signalled that it is halting the procedure for signing the document, over fears the move might have grave adverse effects over the country's economy.

"Ukraine must be strong. Only that way will we be treated as equal partners. We must not turn into "poor relatives" asking for help," stated Yanukovich.

The Ukrainian President also confirmed a prior statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry that the country remains committed to European integration.

However, he suggested that his country will be in no hurry to finalize the Association Agreement.

"Immediately when we reach a level that is appropriate for us and meets our interests, we will be ready to talk about signing," stated Yanukovich.

The decision to temporarily scrap the EU agreement triggered vast protests in capital Kiev and other major cities, with many Ukrainians fearing it means moving away from the EU and closer to Russia.

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Tags: Eastern Partnership, Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov, Russia, EU, european integration, Lithuania, protests, Kiev, Vilnius


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