President Gašparovič meets Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister

BILATERAL relations, future developments after next weekend's parliamentary elections in the Ukraine, and integration into the EU and NATO were the main topics during a meeting between Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk in Bratislava on March 17.

President Gašparovič praised the traditionally good relations shared between the two countries and pointed out more should be done to increase bilateral trade, the TASR news wire wrote.

Despite its considerable size and common border, the Ukraine is only Slovakia’s 16th biggest trading partner, a volume President Gašparovič thinks is insufficient.

The Slovak president expressed his support for Ukraine's efforts to integrate itself into the EU and NATO, and offered experience gained during Slovakia's own accession process. He also took the opportunity to invite Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to visit Slovakia in the second half of 2006.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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