Tallinn, Stenbock House, 13 December 2006 – At the meeting between Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, the central topics discussed revolved around the European Union and NATO.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister thoroughly introduced the Estonian e-government information system to the President of Ukraine, and gave an overview of our economic environment. Andrus Ansip praised the rapid development of Ukraine in recent years, and the reforms that have been carried out.
When talking about the European Union and NATO, Ansip assured President Yushchenko that Estonia fully supports Ukraine’s efforts in this direction.
“NATO is based on very clear common values. The more countries that share the same values, the safer we can feel. Therefore, Estonia supports the continuation of NATO’s open door policy,” Ansip said. The Prime Minister added that a democratic Ukraine can always count on Estonia’s support.
According to President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, their country is taking concrete steps towards membership in both the European Union and the defence alliance, while the dissemination of information at the national level is considered especially important. President Yushchenko placed special emphasis on the progress that has been achieved in cooperation with the European Union, in the field of energy safety.
“There will be no change of direction from the democratic course chosen by Ukraine. I want to thank Estonia, on behalf of myself and the people of Ukraine, for the support you have offered us,” Yushchenko said.
Possibilities for making the good and close interactions between the two countries even more efficient were also discussed at the meeting. Viktor Yushchenko suggested to Prime Minister Ansip that the countries could jointly support Estonian and Ukrainian student exchange programs or the possibility of receiving education in the other country in one’s native language. President Yushchenko offered Ukraine’s support for carrying out such bilateral projects, and also expressed his hopes that soon the 28 thousand Ukrainians living in Estonia will receive a proper information and cultural centre.
According to Prime Minister Ansip, there is always enough room for developing cooperation. “It is relatively easy to find the means, if only there were good ideas and people who would be enthusiastic about carrying them out,” Ansip said. “I hope that after the visit by the President of Ukraine, several enterprises like this will gain new momentum”.