31 March 2012

EU and Ukraine 'initial' an Association Agreement

The association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union has been initialed in Brussels. UkrInform reported.

“Today the heads of the negotiation delegations of Ukraine and the European Union initialed the text of the association agreement, an integral part of which will be the provisions on the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area (FTA). In this regard, the heads of negotiating teams on the FTA confirmed the agreements reached by the sides regarding the content of the economic part of the document and pledged to complete the legal examination of the text, including technical annexes and protocols,” the statement said.

On behalf of Ukraine, the agreement was initialed by Pavlo Klimkin, the head of the negotiating team, Ukrainian deputy foreign minister.

As earlier reported, Ukraine and the European Union began negotiations on the signing of the association agreement in 2007. On December 19, 2011, after the Ukraine-EU summit, the sides announced the completion of the negotiation process concerning the association agreement, including the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area.

The initialing, which is the technical procedure of agreeing the authenticity of the texts on legal and linguistic criteria, is to be followed by political processes on the signing of the document, its ratification by the European Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the national parliaments of EU member states, and then its implementation.

BUT, It would appear that no further progress will be made until Ukraine can demonstrate that changes will take place in important areas like THE RULE OF LAW, MEDIA FREEDOM AND OPEN DEMOCRACY and many other areas as expressed by the EU leadership.

The EU have clearly stated that while Yulia Tymoshenko (Former Prime Minister) and Yuriy Lutsenko (Former Interior Minister) remain in prison, no progress can be made towards signing the agreement.

Moreover, many observers, EU included, are waiting to see how the coming Parliamentary elections are conducted in Ukraine later this year in October.

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