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European Parliament recommends EU to sign association agreement with Ukraine

October 23, 2013, 19:08 UTC+3

If the EU's conditions are met the association agreement with Ukraine should be signed at the November summit in Vilnius

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STRASBOURG, October 23 (Itar-Tass) - The European Parliament members have recommended the EU to sign an association agreement with Ukraine, if Kiev meets all the conditions set for it, in particular, solves the “selective justice problem,” removes the international community’s claims to the October 2012 parliamentary elections and conducts the judicial and electoral reforms. The corresponding resolution was approved on Wednesday by the majority of votes of the MEPs at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In the Eastern Partnership countries, “The outstanding problems are rule of law, state of democracy, including electoral and judicial systems, and selective justice,” said Parliament's rapporteur, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, according to a European Parliament press release. “Without solving those problems it is not possible to consider that our systems and political values can be aligned. We express also strong opposition to Russia's pressure to deter those countries from associating with the Union,” he added.

If the EU's conditions, set by EU foreign ministers in December 2012, are met the association agreement with Ukraine should be signed at the November summit in Vilnius, MEPs say. They also want the agreement to take provisional effect as soon as it is signed and are ready to complete the formal consent procedure before the end of Parliament’s current term.

“We need to encourage integration at regional level which would lay the basis for development and growth in those countries. We need to adopt a new mobility policy with a new visa policy, which would govern legal immigration and encourage more mobility to help young people to study in Europe and return home to contribute to modernization and development processes,” said Parliament's rapporteur for the southern neighbourhood, Pier Antonio Panzeri.

The lawmakers “welcomed the current Ukraine-EU dialogue and their mutual desire to sign an association agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29, 2013.” In this context the parliamentarians welcomed the extension until mid-November of the mandate of the parliamentary mission in Ukraine led by former President of the European Parliament Pat Kox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and expressed the hope that their work would “result in finding a mutually acceptable decision on the case of (former Prime Minister) Yulia Timoshenko.”

Timoshenko is undergoing treatment in Kharkov in a hospital of Ukrzaliznytsya (Ukrainian railway company). The former prime minister was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of office when signing natural gas agreements with Russia in January 2007. As her condition deteriorated, she was transferred to the Kharkov clinic.

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