Friday, September 20, Yalta - President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych opened an international Yalta conference held to discuss Ukraine's European perspective.
The President underlined that the European Union is ready to sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine at the Vilnius Summit this coming November. Therefore, the last remaining months are very important both to Ukraine and the EU. On Ukraine's efforts next month will depend whether it is really determined to build its European future, or maybe it will yield to the pressure and threats giving up the achievements and results of the past five years.
"Ukraine is too big, too strong and too important to allow others to decide its fate. It is the decision of Ukraine to be with the European Union or not. Today Ukraine is at the center of attention of all Europeans who are not indifferent to our continent's security and prosperity. Europe is waiting for Ukraine and supports it. The Vilnius Summit can become a historic day when Ukraine has chosen Europe, and Europe has chosen Ukraine," the President said.
The President noted that with only two months to go before the Vilnius Summit, Ukraine still has to solve the selective justice problem and Yulia Tymoshenko case, as well as to make the necessary amendments to laws relating to legal and judicial systems, election, prosecution, improvement of business environment, and fighting corruption. Nothing is done until finally it's done. These reforms, the President said, are good for Ukrainian people first of all.
According to the President, political pressure and economic sanctions are intended to block Ukraine's and other Eastern partners' association with Europe. Lithuania, as well as Ukraine and other countries in the region, are facing economic pressure today. It is illegal, it demonstrates weakness, and it is a breach of international law, the President underlined.
"With time becoming shorter before the Vilnius Summit, pressure increases. I wish Ukraine, its leaders and its people strength, political will and resolution to withstand the pressure. Ukraine must be the architect of its own fortune. Europe wishes to have Ukraine as a truly European partner. The one which is able to contribute to the continent's development and security," the President said.
The Vilnius Summit will be held on 28-29 November. It is one of the major events of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council. There are high expectations that association agreements will be signed with Ukraine and initialed with Georgia and Moldova at the Summit.
The programme of the visit also includes President Dalia Grybauskaitė's bilateral talks with President Viktor Yanukovych.