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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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Poland and Lithuania Support EU Association With Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, November 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The EU has to sign the Association Agreement (AA) with Ukraine, since it would speed up the European integration of Ukrainians, said Jerzy Pomianowski, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. At the same time, the office of the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU released a statement that the EU "must show will for deeper relations [with Ukraine]". They suggested the signing of the AA as the best incentive.

Poland and Europe have to make up their mind and sign [the AA], in spite of doubts that are circulating in Europe, said Polish official Jerzy Pomianowski. He reckoned such step to be a signal for the Ukrainian society. He insisted that the signing of the AA should not be connected to the current government of Ukraine, as the document regulates long-term relations between the two parties.

Earlier in November, the President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said that his country would always support Ukraine in its European ambition.

In October 2012, Canada's 19th Prime Minister Kim Campbell informed about his desire to see Ukraine a member of the EU. However, the former official noted, Ukraine would have to undergo a number of complicated reforms.

In July 2012, the EU and Ukraine finished editing and coordinating approvals for the economic part of the AA. The document creates a framework for cooperation and stipulates establishing closer economic, cultural, and social ties, as well as the creation of the free trade zone on the territories of the two entities. Now that the AA has been initialed, it is being translated into 24 languages and prepared for signing and the following ratification.

Another part of the EU - Ukraine integration is visa liberalization process. In July 2012, the EU and Ukraine extended the list of categories of the Ukrainian citizens who may undergo a simplified procedure to obtain visas to the EU. Currently, Ukraine is at stage one of the two-stage Visa Liberalisation Action Plan. The Plan provides for the establishment of a visa-free regime for short-term travel to the EU.

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