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No associated membership mode in EU — Russian ambassador to EU

June 25, 2014, 14:41 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The EU Association Agreements within the Eastern Partnership program have nothing in common with the EU membership, Vladimir Chizhov stated
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BRUSSELS, June 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ambassador has said the EU has no option of associated membership.

“The EU Association Agreements within the Eastern Partnership program have nothing in common with the EU membership and the Stabilization and Association Agreement that were signed by the candidate countries for EU accession,” Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Wednesday.

The EU worked out the Association Agreements for three member-countries of the Eastern Partnership, a forum aimed at improving political and trade and economic relations between the post-Soviet states and the European Union. Three countries - Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia agreed to sign the Association Agreement with the EU.

The Association Agreement “does not give a possibility of entering the EU”, Chizhov said.

“In fact, by signing the AA the countries become obliged to re-build their legislation in compliance with European standards and open their markets. However, they do not receive any options for influencing European legislation and European policy,” he said.

“If they like such cooperation, it’s their right to sign the document,” Chizhov said.

Earlier, three other member-countries of the Eastern Partnership — Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus “refused to start preparations for signing the AA”, he said.

Commenting on Ukraine’s steps towards signing the deal with the EU, Chizhov said it “is losing chance to sign the document”.

Moldova and Georgia will sign the Association Agreement with the EU on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels on June 27. Ukraine will sign the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union. The political part was signed on April 16.

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 Neighborhood 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.

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 defense 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 cabinet.”

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 Oleksandr Turchynov and Batkivshchyna party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

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

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