EU to fund natural-gas, oil meters in Ukraine after Russia row
The EU has no plans to permit Ukraine to become a member, said Ferrero-Waldner, repeating the European Commission's years-old position on the matter. The commission is the executive arm of the EU, which is due to let Bulgaria and Romania join in January, is negotiating membership with Croatia and Turkey and faces entry demands from other Balkan nations including Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. „At this moment, clearly there is no membership perspective” for Ukraine, Ferrero-Waldner said. „Membership is not an issue.” The EU aims to work toward a free-trade agreement with Ukraine after the country joins the World Trade Organization, a step that should be possible this year, she said. Ukraine's previous government said it aimed for WTO membership in 2006. Yanukovych echoed comments made yesterday that he is reluctant about Ukraine joining the US-led NATO military alliance, saying no more than a quarter of the country's population supports such a move. Possible NATO membership „has a favorable response in Ukraine of only a small part of the Ukrainian population,” he said today. „We are looking at enlargement of our cooperation with NATO.” (Bloomberg)
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