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September 8, 2011

European Parliament to Urge EU to Finalize Association Agreement with Ukraine

Kyiv, September 8, 2011. The European Parliament is likely to recommend the European Commission and the Council of the European Union to sign Association Agreement with Ukraine before the end of the year. This was revealed by Interfax-Ukraine news agency, which gained access to the draft recommendation document.

The draft of the European Parliament recommendation report which is to promote signing the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine also suggests that the EU provides Ukraine with sufficient financial, technical, and legal support as to enable the country to implement the agreement. The draft contains recommendation to create a high level advisory group to assist Ukraine in adjusting national legislation in accordance with European standards. In addition draft stipulates the terms of the dialogue between the EU and political parties, encouraging inter-party dialogue within Ukraine.

Speaking of economic and sectorial cooperation, the draft stipulates strengthening collaboration between Ukraine and the EU in the area of energy, specifically signing an agreement on securing energy supplies, provisioning reliability and diversification of gas and oil transit system.

In the section on justice, liberty, and security, the report-to-be recommends to set specific time frame for establishing a visa-free regime for Ukraine, instead of the currently existing long-term perspective based on Ukraine’s ability to meet the required technical criteria, provided for by the visa liberation Action Plan. It is also suggested that the time when Ukraine will host the UERO 2012 football championship could serve as a tryout period for a visa-free regime.

The future report states that the Association Agreement provides for an unprecedented level of integration of a third country with the EU. The draft reinforces the Article #49 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides for Ukraine’s right to apply for the membership in the EU, under conditions of observing the principles of democracy, respecting human rights and basic freedoms, and the rule of law.

The ongoing trial of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliia Tymoshenko over gas contracts with Russia raised some concerns about the Association Agreement being signed in the nearest future. Members of the Committee on International Trade INTA of the European Parliament, however, agreed that the Association Agreement with Ukraine would not be affected by the lawsuit against Tymoshenko.