EU Officials: EU-Ukraine Association Negotiations Finalized
KYIV, Ukraine, December 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –
The negotiations on the Association Agreement, including creation of the free trade
zonebetween Ukraine and the European Unionhave been finalized. “This has been a very
successful summit; finally, we have reached a consensus. This is a great step forward in
the EU-Ukraine relations,” stated the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy
at the 15th EU-Ukraine summit, held in Kyiv on December 19.
“We officially declare the finalization of the Association negotiations [between
Ukraine the EU],” stated Herman Van Rompuy at the beginning of the plenary session of the
summit. The EU top official admitted that it had been a complicated process, but “the
Ukrainian government declared its European choice and its goal to finalize the
negotiations”. Political determination was the key to success, according to Van Rompuy.
The rule of law, however, stillwas a very important issue for the future of the relations
between Ukraine and the bloc of 27 countries. In this context the European Council
President mentioned conviction of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko. Van
Rompuy also urged the Ukrainian state to hold fair parliamentary elections next year.
“The summit will allow us to take a look at the final stretch of the negotiations of
theAssociation Agreement. We will set our priorities for further work. And it will be a
placefor open and critical discussions where we will also raise our concerns on a number
ofcurrent challenges facing Ukraine and the EU,” stated Van Rompuy prior to the summit.
Commenting on furthering political association and economic integration, the President
of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barrosodeclared that it had beenthe European
Union’s stated objective. He highlighted the determination to reach it through the
conclusion of negotiations on the Association Agreement, including a Deep and
Comprehensive Free Trade Area. He also pointed out the need for the Ukrainian authorities
to demonstrate their abiding such values as democracy, rule of law, respect for human
rights and independence ofjudiciary.
The participants of the summit clarified that the procedure of the initialing of the
EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was not possible at the summit due to technical issues.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine