Ukraine sees no obstacle to signing first step to EU

Ukraine sees no obstacle towards signing an Association Agreement with the European Union that would be Kiev's first step on the road to membership, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Friday.

"As of today, I do not see any obstacles to the signing of this document," Yanukovych said in a major television interview broadcast on Ukrainian national channels.

He pledged to fulfill all the conditions put forward by the EU to sign the agreement, but did not mention whether Ukraine is ready to release jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, as Europe has urged.

"The conditions that have been put forward to us by the European Commission, they will be met. I have no doubt about it," the president said.

Ukraine has set its sights on joining the European Union and the Association Agreement would be a first formal step on the road to membership.

Kiev is hoping to sign the agreement at the EU's Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.

Tymoshenko has insisted her imprisonment was ordered by Yanukovych in a bid to eliminate a dangerous opponent from political life ahead of 2015 presidential polls and her jailing has soured Kiev's relations with the bloc.

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