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VILNIUS, July 15 (Itar-Tass) - The EU Foreign Affairs Council will take a final decision on signing the Association Agreement with Ukraine, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said.
Lithuania is currently holding the rotating presidency in the EU.
In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday, Linkevicius said in December 2012 the Foreign Affairs Council had announced the conclusions on relationship with Ukraine under which the Association Agreement could be signed not till late November.
The Eastern Partnership summit is expected to take place in Vilnius in November.
At the same time, the Lithuanian minister said the Association Agreement might be signed even if Ukraine’s power institutions achieved proper progress in such areas as the democratic character of elections, the denial of selective justice and the promotion of reforms. The final decision will be taken by the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Linkevicius said.
The talks, which were being held over four years, can be considered of the worthy achievements in relations between the EU and Ukraine. By their scale the agreement has no precedent, the minister added.
He stressed that the Ukrainian leadership declared the country’s rapprochement towards the EU. That is why there is a hope that progress will be achieved, Linkevicius said.
“If Ukraine is ready for this, Europe will be also prepared for this process,” he said.
The Eastern Partnership is the EU programme, which is designed to develop cooperation with the six former USSR republics - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The programme was launched in May 2009.
The signing of the Association Agreement is one of the stages for maintaining partnership with the European Union and it does not lead to membership in the Union because there is no associated membership in the EU. The Association Agreement aims to develop economic partnership with third countries.