Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Ukraine: Ukraine Signs Memorandum With EEC and Pursues European Integration - President Yanukovych

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine

Ukraine's participation in the work of the Customs Union and the signed memorandum to enhance cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission do not contradict Ukraine's WTO membership and the strategic course toward European integration through the Association Agreement and the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU. Such assurances have been offered by President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during his phone conversation with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso on May 31, 2013.

On May 29, 2013, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council - the governing body of the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus - has agreed to grant Ukraine an observer status. The decision was reached at the Astana meeting of the leaders of the Custom Union countries with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

The observer status will allow Ukraine to attend open meetings of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, public meetings of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the board meetings of the Eurasian Economic Commission. It will allow Ukraine to send its proposals to the Eurasian Economic Commission without having the right to vote or participate in the decision-making process. Ukraine will also gain access to the non-confidential documents produced by the organization.

The respective memorandum was signed on May 31, 2013, by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov and the Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko during the CIS Heads of Government meeting in Minsk.

Notably, the signed memorandum stipulates that it is not the international agreement and does not offer rights and obligations governed by international law.

In the meantime, the Ukrainian government focuses on fulfilling the criteria required for signing the Association Agreement and the free trade zone agreement with the European Union in November 2013, in Lithuania. The Ukrainian leader noted that all branches of the government, as well as the opposition and civil society will have to coordinate their efforts in order to reach a success. The further economic and social development of Ukraine is inseparably linked to the issue of European integration, concluded President Yanukovych during his meeting with Vice-President of the European Parliament Jacek Protasiewicz earlier.