Leonid Kuchma: Ukraine's Strategic Target - Integration Into Europe

Ukraine's CIS membership cannot and should not become an obstacle on the way of the country's integration into the European Union, President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine stated at the press conference on Monday. According to Kuchma, CIS member-states, Russia included, are aware that the strategic target of Ukraine is its integration into Europe and the European Union. The Ukrainian president believes that the European Union is interested in expanding cooperation with all CIS countries. "If the European Union regards the Commonwealth countries, Russia included, not as an enemy, but as an economic partner," this will bring more understanding and contribute to the growth of people's well-being, Kuchma noted. According to Kuchma, it is high time to stop "looking at the CIS, Ukraine in particular, as the Soviet Union or its part." "Ukraine is currently an independent state with its domestic and foreign policy," the head of the Ukrainian state emphasised.