Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-11-14-Speech-3-395"

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"Mr President, Ukraine is a strategically important neighbour for the European Union. It is a natural bridge linking us with Russia and Central Asia. Since 2004, that is, since the time of the major enlargement, the EU has been Ukraine’s largest trading partner. To a great extent, the EU and Ukraine share the same economic and trading interests and, for this reason, it is sensible to go down the path of further integration of our markets in order to gain the greatest benefits. The way to achieve this is to create a common free trade area, but first Ukraine must complete its process of accession to the WTO. We should do everything we can, politically and diplomatically, to support Ukraine in its bid to gain this membership. It will also be necessary to provide ongoing support to help Ukraine fulfil WTO requirements. We should remember that, behind Ukraine, there is the mighty hand of Russia, which would once again like to dominate this part of Europe. For this reason it is a good idea to give Ukraine the status of a market economy, which should bring that country closer to Western Europe and, as a result, should lead to membership of the European Union. Mr Zaleski’s report is a good step in this direction, and I would like to congratulate him on the report."@en1

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