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KIEV, December 20, 22:55 /ITAR-TASS/. A roadmap of preparations for the signing an agreement on Ukraine’s association with the European Union will be made public in a month, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov told journalists on Friday after a roundtable meeting on the settlement of the political crisis in the country.
According to Arbuzov, the key problem was that before the Eastern Partnership summit that was held in Vilnius on November 28-29, when Ukraine was supposed to sign the association agreement with the European Union, Ukraine had worked out no roadmap of the agreement’s implementation. “We missed this aspect at the very beginning,” he admitted. “We are taking effort to remedy the situation. We will work out a roadmap, which will help us sign the association agreement with the European Union.” He said a special group had been set up to work on this roadmap and it would take about a month to finally adopt it.
Speaking at the roundtable meeting involving representatives from the authorities and the opposition, he stressed that Ukraine hoped to sign an association agreement with the European Union very soon. “Today we face a double task,” he said. “First, we must explain the reason behind our actions, and, second, we must demonstrate that Ukraine’s European integration, i.e. the association with the European Union, is still in force. We are determined to make this step but we do not want to do it blindfolded.”
“Ukraine is sincere in its movement towards European integration,” he went on to say. “No one can reproach us that the president or the authorities have done nothing to implement the European integration programme, especially in the recent days and months. We are not bargaining but we must understand what we will have tomorrow.” The European Union, in his words, continues its open-door policy towards Ukraine and “is taking effort to get there.” “The question is not whether it will happen or not, the question is when and how we do it,” Arbuzov stressed.
“Ukraine should confirm its commitment to continue its European integration path,” he noted. “And I am glad that the European Union is demonstrating similar commitment.”
Earlier on Friday, the European Union summit yielded a statement that said that the European Union was ready to sign the association and free trade zone agreement with Ukraine as soon as the latter was ready for that.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference after the European Union summit, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said that neither the European Commission nor the European Union saw any reasons to continue talks on the signing of the association agreement with Ukraine’s current authorities in the current conditions.