The Slovenia Times

Tuerk and Yanukovych for Closer Cooperation


Yanukovych thanked Tuerk for good cooperation and the long-awaited visit which will turn a new page in bilateral relations between the two countries. He added that Tuerk visited Ukraine at a very important time for the country.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Yanukovych said that Ukraine and the EU were concluding negotiations on accession agreement and on free trade agreement, while Kiev was also putting effort into visa liberalisation.

Tuerk added that Slovenia supported expansion of the EU, thus also supporting Ukraine's efforts to join the bloc. Yanukovych meanwhile thanked Slovenia for all the support.

The Slovenian president also maintained that the two countries were connected by cultural closeness and close ties that had existed for a long time.

Touching on strengthening political cooperation, Tuerk expressed his wish that political ties between Kiev and Ljubljana be frequent and extensive at all levels.

The pair moreover called for strengthening economic cooperation, as both sides want to boost the already growing trade between the two countries.

Tuerk illustrated the possibilities for closer cooperation with three examples. One was the chemical industry, in which investment cooperation is already underway, as paint and coatings maker Helios is already present on the Ukrainian market.

In his second example, Tuerk referred to his visit tomorrow to Kharkiv, where he will lay a foundation stone for a bakery which will be furnished by a Slovenian company.

He also pointed to the energy sector as an opportunity for cooperation, as Slovenia could share its experience in modernising the energy industry.

But Tuerk also noted that there were some problems for investment in Ukraine, which would need to be tackled to strengthen investment cooperation.

Yanukovych meanwhile expressed his satisfaction that his Slovenian counterpart would visit Kharkiv and see the progress that Ukrainian regions had made with his own eyes.

The pair also took part in a Ukrainian-Slovenian business forum, where they reiterated their call for strengthening cooperation, while Yanukovych added that Ukraine will do everything in its power to make foreign investors in the country feel like at home.

Executive director of travel agency Komaps Dimitrij Piciga told the STA that "the cooperation that is being set up at the moment is but a start", as Slovenian tourists' interest in Ukraine is growing.

Another top Slovenian executive, Janez Skrabec of engineering company Riko, told the STA that he saw a great potential in the country, as it is the biggest European country besides Russia.

He added that opportunities lie in regions, as "Kiev is an administrative centre without much industry. Major industries are found around Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and of course in Kharkiv; those are the main markets for companies such as Riko".

Ukraine and Slovenia moreover signed an agreement on cooperation in fighting crime, an accord on boosting cooperation in EU issues, a memorandum on tourism and a letter of intent on cooperation in customs.

Tuerk also met on Tuesday Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who expressed satisfaction that ties between the two countries were strengthening and hope that the upcoming general election in Slovenia would not change that.

He urged Slovenian investors to take a more active role on the Ukrainian market and promised that his government would do everything for the good relations to continue.

Tuerk is scheduled to meet on Wednesday the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn, in Kiev and continue his visit in Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv, where he will meet Governor Michael Dobkin and Mayor Gennadiy Kernes, and take part in a business conference.


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