Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ukraine: Ukrainian PM - Ukraine Offers EU Unprecedented Concessions

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine

Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov considers that Ukraine made unprecedented concessions to the EU during the negotiations on the Association Agreement. Such statement was made during his meeting with a delegation of the European Parliament's political group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe - ALDE Group.

"We offered multiple concessions while concluding the part of the Association Agreement which deals with the free trade zone. We opened our market to the countries of the European Union, and the EU has set for us a 10-year transition period during which quotas on a number of positions, which we consider important, would be cancelled. Ukraine does not have this type of an agreement with anyone, even with Russia," said Ukrainian prime minister. In addition the Ukrainian official noted that in the last year the government was able to accomplish more that in the last five years because it made some serious commitments.

On the other hand, the Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt said that signing the association agreement was in the interests of both Ukraine and the EU.

Notably, on March 30, 2012 Ukraine and Brussels initialed both the political and the economic part of the Association Agreement aimed at creating a framework for cooperation and establishing closer economic, cultural, and social ties between the two parties. The preamble of the Association Agreement reflected the support of Ukraine's European choice by the EU. The Union recognized that Ukraine belongs to European identity and practices European values.

The economic part of the document highlighted the introduction of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. It covered all trade-related issues, regulating the questions of competition, customs, energy, intellectual property, public procurement, services, and sustainable development. The provisions were set to improve investment climate in Ukraine and help develop business cooperation between the two regions.

Suffice it to say that Ukraine and the EU went through 21 rounds of negotiations before finalizing the negotiation process on December 19, 2011. Association talks between Ukraine and the EU started on March 5, 2007.