[holding answer 7 March 2007]: During my visit to Ukraine I had the opportunity to discuss with the President and the Prime Minister, as well as other opinion formers, Ukraine’s aim of closer integration with the EU. I underlined the UK’s strong support for this objective. I observed the progress that has been made in consolidating democracy and media freedom since the Orange revolution and encouraged those I met to continue to build on these changes. I also underlined the UK’s support for Ukraine’s reform programme which will bring them closer to the EU’s standards and norms and allow Ukraine’s relationship with the EU to be further developed.
During my visit to Moldova I met with President Voronin as well as other Ministers and leading opinion formers. I discussed Moldova’s aim of closer integration with the EU, and their implementation of the EU Moldova Action Plan. I was able to hear in more detail Moldova’s priorities for reform, and to restate the UK’s support for closer EU integration as well as practical support for the process of reform. I also met civil society representatives and heard their views of the major issues Moldova faces.