Ukraine, US sign cooperation roadmap

April 2nd, 2008 - 11:29 am ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Kiev, April 2 (RIA Novosti) The Ukrainian and US presidents have signed a roadmap on bilateral cooperation, laying the foundation for a free trade zone between the two countries, the Ukrainian presidential press service has said. “Today’s signing of the roadmap between Ukraine and the US was very important for us,” President Viktor Yushchenko told reporters Tuesday after talks with US President George W. Bush.

“The roadmap lays the necessary foundation to prepare for and start in the near future talks to establish a free trade zone between our countries.”

The agreement outlines strategic priorities for bilateral relations in the spheres of politics, security, trade and economics, energy, humanitarian, as well as scientific-technical and military cooperation.

Bush arrived in Ukraine late Monday and following a meeting with Yushchenko told journalists regarding Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership: “I’m going to work as hard as I can to see to it that Georgia and Ukraine are accepted into NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP).”

In January, Ukraine’s leaders requested to join NATO’s MAP. However, despite Washington’s unequivocal support for Ukraine’s bid, membership is far from certain, with the majority of Ukrainians against the move, as well as NATO-member nations France and Germany.

“We think that it is not a good answer to the balance of power within Europe and between Europe and Russia,” France’s Prime Minister Francois Fillon told a French radio station Tuesday.

The visit by Bush is a stopover before the April 2-4 NATO summit in Romania, which Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be attending, as a guest.

On Monday, thousands of people gathered on Kiev’s Independence Square in protest at Bush’s visit and the proposed NATO membership.
RIA Novosti

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