President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych conducted a meeting with the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, presidential press office informed.
Welcoming the distinguished guest in Ukraine, the President said that Ukraine appreciates the fact that the first official visit of the President of the European Council to Eastern Partnership countries is being made to our country. "It confirms high attention of the EU to Ukraine and proves that our country’s strategic course towards European integration is continuous," he said.
The President reminded that during his first meeting with Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels on March 1 this year he had outlined ways to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, and that the state was able to achieve significant improvements in this direction.
"Of course our primary goal was to stabilize the economic situation and create an effective system of government. Many of the issues we discussed are almost completely resolved, " he said.
The President said that all the conditions for the beginning of systemic reforms in Ukraine were created, pointing also to the establishment of the Committee on Economic Reforms under his chairmanship, creation of the Corruption Fighting Committee, etc..
The President also highlighted a number of approved and elaborated important bills aimed at overcoming the economic crisis and fighting corruption, particularly the draft Tax Code, the Law on Foundations of Domestic and Foreign Policy, Public Procurement Law, the Law on the Judiciary and the Status of Judges, etc..
Viktor Yanukovych also drew attention to the improvement of economic situation in Ukraine with growth in GDP of 6.1%, industrial production – of 12.5% and exports – of 28%, and budget deficit decrease.
The President stressed the government attaches great importance to improving investment attractiveness of the Ukrainian economy. In particular, it is planned this year to at least halve the number of permits and licenses necessary to conduct entrepreneurial activity.
Of course, said President Yanukovych, implementation of reforms requires considerable financial support. Therefore, he said, Ukraine hopes to sign the program of cooperation with the IMF for the next 2.5 years soon in order to get 4.9 billion dollars.
The President thanked the leadership of the European Council for a positive decision to grant Ukraine the macro-financial assistance of 500 million Euros.
Speaking about Ukraine's foreign policy, the President stressed that European integration was defined in the Law on Foundations of Domestic and Foreign Policy of Ukraine approved on May 1.
The Ukrainian side hopes that it will sign the Association Agreement with the EU already in 2010 in order to achieve positive results in introducing Ukraine - EU FTA and beginning implementation of the visa-free travel action plan, said Viktor Yanukovych. Sure, he added, the visa-free travel action plan will require great work of the Foreign Ministries of Ukraine and the EU countries. "But we are ready for that work,” he said.
Speaking about the "Eastern Partnership", Viktor Yanukovych noted the importance of development of dialogue between the EU and Belarus. According to the Head of State, this dialogue will help to establish EU-Belarus relations, in which "Ukraine is ready to act as a bridge”.
"Rapprochement of Belarus and the EU, strengthening of the European vector in this country’s foreign policy, integration of the Belarusian economy into the EU market meet national interests of Ukraine," said President Yanukovych.
Speaking about Ukrainian-Russian relations, the President stressed that currently Ukraine has restored normal relations with Russia and perceives them as long-term, pragmatic and mutually beneficial. "We are convinced that we should focus on achieving real results,” said Viktor Yanukovych, pointing to quite significant growth of turnover between our countries and our proposal on modernization of the Ukrainian gas transit system jointly with the EU.
The President noted that we are working on deepening cooperation with Russia in rocket building and space industry, aircraft construction, shipbuilding, nuclear power, transportation, energy and agricultural engineering, other knowledge-intensive and high technology sectors.
"Mutually-beneficial economic cooperation between Ukraine and CIS countries is going on with preserving Ukraine's strategic course to join the EU and Ukraine's commitments to the WTO," he said.