KIEV, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on Thursday reiterated his country's commitment to following the course for integration with the European Union (EU), attributing the current pause in its EU entry bid to pragmatic economic reasons.
"European integration remains a key priority for Ukraine and the government is constantly working to better align Ukraine's standard regulation with those of the EU," Azarov said at a meeting with Thierry Mariani, member of the National Assembly of France.
The current pause in preparation for a partnership deal between Kiev and the 28-member bloc was caused solely by pragmatic economic reasons, Azarov said.
Ukraine attaches great importance to its relations with both Western and Eastern partners and is interested in speedy settlement of all issues concerning cooperation with the EU and Russia, he said.
Mariani said that some political forces in France see the point of Kiev's decision to halt the deal with the EU.
"Given the fact that Europe has not made specific proposals to Ukraine and considering your economic situation, you had no choice, " Mariani said.
Ukraine was due to sign a landmark political-economic deal with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania last month, but suddenly put the agreement on hold in a move widely seen as opting for closer trade ties with Russia.