Ukraine – EU agreement 'in the balance'

Ukraine – EU agreement 'in the balance'

Signing the EU-Ukraine association agreement in November hangs in the balance, Poland’s foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.


"It is a source of concern for us that Ukraine may be late in fulfilling the conditions for concluding the agreement, such as the passing of bills on the state prosecutors’ office and on electoral law,” Minister Sikorski said.


Sikorski added that adopting the required legislation at the last minute will not be sufficient as the European Union has to have several weeks to make the final assessment on Ukraine’s readiness to conclude the association agreement.


"As things stand today – Ukraine is not ready,” Sikorski said.


"The window of opportunity is short and there is no plan B if we would miss the Vilnius target,” European Commissioner Štefan Füle said in a statement released after the EU Ukraine Cooperation Council meeting.


The signing of the agreement has been provisionally planned for an Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.


Ukraine's prime minister said that it was in his county's intererst to sign the agreement as planned.


"We undertake these commitments with the purpose of fulfilling them, and this fulfillment is in our own interests," Mykola Azarov said Tuesday morning.


In a written statement to the nation on the EU agreement on 6 June, Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovich did not mention the imprisonment of 52-year-old former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was sentenced in October 2011 for abuse of office linked to a 2009 gas deal she brokered with Russia.


The EU has cast ddoubts on the seven year prison sentence she received, saying the court ruling was politically motivated.






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