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Association Agreement with Ukraine on fast track to ratification in Europe

August 30, 2014, 21:19 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the agreement had to be ratified quickly to spur political and economic reforms in Ukraine
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BRUSSELS, August 30  /ITAR-TASS/. The European Parliament will use a fast-track procedure to ratify the Association Agreement with Ukraine, parliament President Martin Schulz said at the EU summit in Brussels on Saturday.

He said the agreement had to be ratified quickly to spur political and economic reforms in Ukraine.

The Association Agreement will go to the Ukrainian parliament for ratification in the middle of September, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said.

“I will submit the Association Agreement to the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] in the middle of September so that we could transfer all ratification documents to the EU before the end of September,” Poroshenko said this week.

On June 27, the European Union signed Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova and the economic part of the agreement with 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.

Late last year, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan 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 firm 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.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said the signing of the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union would require Ukraine to restructure its economy.

“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.

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 the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities to rally 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.

Now the agreement has to be ratified by the parliaments of all of the EU member states.

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