Ukraine indefinitely delays signing Association Agreement with EU
Friday, 30 May 2014


Ukraine’s newly elected President Petro Poroshenko reportedly asked top EU officials to postpone the signing of the economic part of the Ukraine – EU Association Agreement. The development comes against the backdrop of still ongoing military operations in southeastern Ukraine, unresolved issues about Ukraine’s 3.5 bill dollars gas debt to Russia and the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Poroshenko_Ukraine_CloseupPoroshenko asked the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Baroso and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, to postpone the signing of the economic section of the Ukraine – EU Association Agreement, reports the Russian Itar-Tass news agency, citing “sources”.

Poroshenko reportedly asked for an indefinite delay, citing concerns about possible Russian import restrictions on Ukrainian goods and the unstable situation in Ukraine. Russian import restrictions, Poroshenko reportedly said, would have a very negative impact on Ukraine’s economy.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Foreign Minister Andrii Dehchytsia told reporters that the ministry planned consultations with the EU on the possible signing of the remaining section of the Association Agreement before June 27, which was the initially planned date.

Dehchytsia added that Poroshenko said he wanted the document signed earlier than that and than consultations would focus on how early the document could be signed. Earlier, Poroshenko said that he wanted to sign the agreement as soon as he was sworn in as president.

Kiev and the EU signed the first part of the Association Agreement on March 21 but delayed the signing of the economic part of the agreement until after presidential elections in Ukraine.The development comes against the deepening of the crisis in southeastern Ukraine where over 120 people have lost their lives due to Kiev’s military operations in Slavyansk, Donetsk, and other cities and towns.

The delay comes also against the backdrop of still unresolved issues about Ukraine’s 3.5 billion US dollars gas debt to Russia and tripartite negotiations on the issue between Kiev, Moscow and the EU. Poroshenko may also want to reconsider parts of the Association Agreement as Russia may change its import and export policies within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia met on Thursday, in the Kazakh capital Astana, where they signed the treaty for the establishment of the EEC. The treaty came into effect on January 1, 2014. The Presidents of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan participated in the summit.

 


  

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