Polish and Ukrainian presidents discuss Ukraine's EU bid
Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych met in Krakow on Monday to discuss bilateral cooperation and prospects of signing an EU-Ukraine association accord at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.
"Polish-Ukrainian relations and the prospect of Ukraine getting closer to the EU are strategic issues for Poland," the Polish president said. Bronislaw Komorowski also informed reporters that he and Viktor Yanukovych had signed a Poland-Ukraine cooperation plan until 2015.
The plan assumes "an optimistic scenario of cooperation between Poland as an EU member and Ukraine as an EU-associated country," Bronislaw Komorowski explained. Ukraine is to sign an association agreement with the EU at the Vilnius meeting in November.
B. Komorowski added that bilateral cooperation with Ukraine was important for Poland under any political conditions.
During the meeting the presidents discussed "removing the remaining obstacles to success of the Vilnius summit," according to Komorowski.
Viktor Yanukovych stressed Poland's role as an advocate for Ukraine's European aspirations.
"I would like to stress the extremely important role of President Komorowski in bringing Ukraine closer to the EU. We have devoted a lot of time to the last preparations to the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius," the Ukrainian president said.
President Komorowski noted that the discussion with Yanukovych would be continued in the presence of Italian and German presidents later on Monday.
Poland has been making efforts to bring Ukraine closer to the EU structures through various top-level meetings with Ukrainian and European politicians. For more than a year Poland's former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former EP head Pat Cox have been envoys of the European Parliament with the task to monitor court trials of representatives of the Ukrainian opposition, including former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
One of the conditions of signing the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine is releasing Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office when brokering a gas deal with Russia. Brussels believes Tymoshenko was sentenced on political grounds. (PAP)