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High-ranking EU officials arrive for 9th summit with Ukraine

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KIEV, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko greeted delegations from the European Commission, the EU Council and Portugal, who arrived in Kiev on Friday for the ninth EU-Ukraine summit.

Among the high-ranking guests are Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero Waldner, and Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado.

The summit agenda includes the EU's internal development, including the ongoing standoff over the proposed EU constitution, continued work on the 27-nation bloc's Reform Treaty, and prospects of EU expansion. The talks will also address developments in Ukraine, notably the provision of political stability and efforts to ensure free and democratic early elections, as well as relations between the ex-Soviet country and the EU.

Earlier this year Ukraine signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the EU, and held four rounds of negotiations on a new Enhanced Agreement, which Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Tuesday "paves the way for a deeper integration into the European Union."

At a meeting with President Yushchenko on March 8, Ferrero Waldner pledged 494 million euros from this year until 2010 to support the reform process in the country and the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan.

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