Posted on 20.10.2011 in Featured, News, Ukraine

Negotiations on the Association Agreement with Ukraine should continue

Negotiations on the Association Agreement with Ukrean continue, while European leaders express their concern about sentencing of Ukrainian former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. 

After the meeting with European leaders during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw earlier this month, President Wiktor Yanukovych said Ukraine will insist on including future EU membership in the provisions of the association agreement. He mentioned also the currently negotiated free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU. According to President Yanukovych, in could only be signed after parliamentary debate and consultations with the Ukrainian people and local business representatives.

Meanwhile, the EU raises concerns as to the conviction of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, regarded as a political move. President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek expressed his concerns as well: “Strengthening the rule of law and a credible fight against corruption are essential not only for the conclusion of the Association Agreement by the end of the year and the deepening of EU-Ukraine relations, but also for the consolidation of democracy in Ukraine.” He urged Ukraine to “uphold the principles and common values that form the core of the Eastern partnership.”

Eastern Partnership Summit  © 2011 Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrów

According to some Ukrainian politicians quoted by Ukrainian press, the process and the conviction of Tymoshenko is but an excuse for the EU to postpone the conclusion of the agreement.

To comment on the issue, in a speech given in the European Parliament, Catherina Ashton stated “That Association Agreement was not conceived as a gift to Ukraine, or a gift to the EU: it was envisaged as a mutually beneficial contract sharing our values and standards, opening our markets, modernising and diversifying the Ukrainian economy and entrenching the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. (…) I believe we should not walk away from the technical negotiations, but continue them with the aim of having before us on the table, a document which makes it clear to both sides what is possible – and also what could be lost. (…) But we can only sign such an agreement if we are convinced that the Ukrainian leadership believes in the values on which it is based, and is committed to upholding them.

Source: EaP CommunityEEAA (1) (2)Kyiv Post