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RIGA, October 2 (Itar-Tass) - Latvia supports the signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union at the forthcoming summit of the countries involved in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program in November 2013, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said Wednesday upon the end of talks with visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.
“Latvia resolutely supports the singing of the Ukraine-EU association agreement although it definitely knows about the problems that are yet to be resolved, like the situation with former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko,” Rinkevics said.
Kozhara said on his part that this year is particularly important for Ukraine with account of the forthcoming signing of the agreement. He thanked Latvia for support.
The sides discussed pressing issues of international relations and economic ties. They pointed out a fair volume of bilateral investments, as well as cooperation in international organizations and regional problems.
Also, two ministers agreed to develop cooperation in education, culture, and transport.
Kozhara also met with the Speaker of Latvia’s Saeima, Solvita Aboltina. He told her Latvia is one of Ukraine’s ten biggest trade partners in the EU and their trade had shown growth 30% in the previous year.
On the face of it, Russia government officials have issued warnings in the past few days that Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU would wield a highly bad impact on the country’s trade with Russia.
They indicated, in part, that trade with Russia might shrink by $12 billion and this would sign an end to whole branches of the Ukrainian industry, like aerospace or shipbuilding.