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Ukrainian President To Head To Brussels

21 February 2005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was scheduled to travel to Brussels today on a three-day visit to convince European Union officials to open membership talks with his country.

In an earlier interview with AFP, Yushchenko said his talks with EU officials would focus on agreeing on a start date for membership negotiations. Yushchenko wants such talks to start in 2007.

During Yushchenko's visit, the European Union plans to adopt an "action plan" for Ukraine giving the country benefits including better trade terms and fewer visa restrictions. However, the plan falls short of addressing Kyiv's desire to join the 25-member bloc.

While in Brussels, Yushchenko will also hold talks with U.S. President George W. Bush tomorrow.