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Economic part of Association Agreement to require economic overhaul in Ukraine — FM

June 23, 2014, 17:46 UTC+3 LUXEMBOURG
The agreement “will allow us to create more jobs in many sectors as the majority of new EU member states did”, the minister notes
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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin

© EPA/NICOLAS BOUVY

LUXEMBOURG, June 23./ITAR-TASS/. The signing of the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union will require Ukraine to restructure its economy, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Monday, June 23.

When asked about the risks the agreement might create for Ukrainian industry, Klimkin told ITAR-TASS, “We have thoroughly studied the consequences of the Association Agreement for all sectors of the Ukrainian economy. It will be important to carry out economic restructuring.”

By that he means the closing down of enterprises which do not fit into the new conditions for the development of the country and the transfer of labour to new sectors.

“The Association Agreement is not only a question of theory or preferences. Its purpose is to provide access to the European market because European rules will become a part of Ukrainian legislation,” Klimkin said.

He does not think that the opening of the markets will spur unemployment in Ukraine and is confident that the agreement “will allow us to create more jobs in many sectors as the majority of new EU member states did”. “New jobs will appear not only in agriculture or in the field of economic technologies but also in industry which should get European investments,” the minister said.

 

Singning the document

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would sign the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union on June 27.

“The new minister bears double responsibility now that I will put my signature to complete the signing procedure for the Association Agreement on June 27,” Poroshenko said last week.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule visited Kiev on June 19-20 to continue preparations for signing the economic part of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine.

The Association Agreement is to be signed in Brussels on June 27. Ukrainian leaders will not attend the upcoming EU summit, which is not open to third countries. But they will be invited to a separate signing ceremony where the EU will sign the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia.

We are talking about confidence not only towards Ukrainian citizens, but also towards international investors from around the globe and international financial institutions, since association provides a blueprint for future oriented, European Union-related reforms in Ukraine Stefan Fule European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy In April, Ukraine signed the political part of the agreement with the EU, which makes up about 2% of the document. The remaining 98% deal with the creation of a free trade zone between the EU and Ukraine, which will basically mean the opening up of the Ukrainian market to European goods since Ukrainian industrial commodities cannot compete on European markets: there is no demand for the defence industry’s products as EU countries are adopting NATO standards, and agricultural produce can hardly make their way to the saturated European market where even EU countries have to observe production quotas.

Late last year, Fule reiterated that “the European Union remains ready to sign the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, as soon as Ukraine is ready and proves its commitment by deeds… Let me stress what the Association Agreement is all about: it is an offer to Ukraine, to Ukrainian people and as such it is on the table. There is a shared ownership of this agreement, so the message that the door is open, should reach not only President’s office and Prime Minister’s cabine.”

He welcomed the European aspirations of the Ukrainian nation and expressed firmly belief that “the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, will be the first substantial step towards fulfilling these aspirations. Respect for our common values and implementation of the Association Agreement will define the future progressive developments in our relationship.”

Fule reiterated that “Europe remains fully engaged and is committed to facilitate finding solutions to Ukraine’s acute political crisis, based on the firm conviction that moving rapidly towards signature of the Association Agreement would constitute a key step for restoring confidence.”

“We are talking about confidence not only towards Ukrainian citizens, but also towards international investors from around the globe and international financial institutions, since association provides a blueprint for future oriented, European Union-related reforms in Ukraine,” he said.

On November 21, 2013, Ukraine suspended preparations for signing the Association Agreement with the European Union because it had not received a clear signal indicating Europe’s readiness to compensate it for losses from worsening relations with CIS countries.

The government’s decision caused people to take to streets in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities to demonstrate in support of European integration, which subsequently led to mass riots and the overthrow of the president and government, bringing to power Western-backed forces led by Parliament Speaker Alexander Turchinov and Batkivshcina party leader Arseny Yatsenyuk.

Talks on the Association Agreement resumed earlier this year and resulted in the signing of the political part of the document in April.

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