Posted on 02.02.2013 in News, Ukraine

EU Foreign Policy High Representative Ashton Calls Ukraine To Fulfill EU Conditions For Signing Association Agreement

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton calls on Ukraine’s authorities to fulfill the conditions, outlined in the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, for signing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, reads a statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton following her meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.

“My meeting with the new Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kozhara today, in the run-up to the Summit in Brussels on 25 February, was a good opportunity to take stock of our mutual engagement for the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU,” Ashton said.

The Foreign Affairs Council last December set concrete criteria and a timeframe for the possible signing of the Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. Signature of the agreement will, however, only be possible if progress is sufficient.

“I therefore call on Ukraine to use this opportunity for a breakthrough in our relations and take determined action to achieve tangible progress on the benchmarks set in the Conclusions. The benchmarks are clearly achievable, but time is short,” the High Representative said.

In the meeting today Ashton reiterated how important it is that Ukraine addresses the cases of selective justice and prevents their recurrence.

In this context, she expressed concern about recent developments related to Yulia Tymoshenko and her close collaborators, and about the overall political context in which these developments are taking place. This morning’s news about Yurii Lutsenko’s unexpected transfer from the hospital back to prison was also raised.

At the meeting they also exchanged views on Ukraine’s Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE during 2013. “I stressed that Ukraine is well placed to build bridges and that all existing OSCE commitments need to be upheld at home and promoted within the OSCE region. Furthermore, I fully support Ukraine’s determination as Chairman to pay particular attention to protracted conflicts, including Transnistria,” said Ahston.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Kozhara is staying in Brussels, Belgium on January 30-31.

The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on December 10, 2012 declared the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union might be signed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in November 2013.

Although, for that the European party expects Ukraine, among other things, to progress in the fight against selective justice and prevention of its reoccurrence, as well as to implement a number of reforms.