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Ukrainian president appeals to current generation to push harder for European integration

Ukrainian president appeals to current generation to push harder for European integration

President Viktor Yushchenko appealed to this ex-Soviet republic's political parties to do more to ensure that Ukraine makes it into the European Union during their political careers.
Yushchenko's call came amid disappointing results in talks with the EU, which has agreed to work toward closer political and economic ties with the nation of 47 million, but stopped short of recognizing it as a future candidate for membership.
Both Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych have declared EU membership a strategic goal _ rare common ground for the often feuding duo who share power.
In the past two weeks, Yanukovych traveled to Berlin and Yushchenko to Brussels to push for more recognition from the EU; both declared their visits a success, but returned home without promises of future membership.
"Our national idea is a European Ukraine," Yushchenko told a crowd of political supporters as he laid flowers at a monument to the revered national poet Taras Shevchenko on the 193rd anniversary of his birth.
Yushchenko said he was convinced that Ukraine would join European structures someday, saying he had "no doubt."
"But I would very much like for it to be done by this generation of politicians," he said. "This is something we must talk about very clearly, distinctly and constantly."