Ukraine's European Choice is Irrevocable - Head of EU Delegation

May 21, 2013, 13:29 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The powerful pro-European civil movement in Ukraine made the country's European choice irrevocable, stated the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski at the celebration of Europe Days in Kyiv. The diplomat highlighted that the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement required efforts from both - authorities and the civil society.  

"The signing of the Association Agreement is not the goal in itself, it opens up a new chapter in relations between Ukraine and the EU, and at the same time, greatly enhances the ability of Ukraine to shape the future of the continent, along with other European countries," he said on May 18.  He also expressed hope that this time next year Kyiv and Brussels would start a new chapter in the bilateral relations with Ukrainian flag waving alongside the flags of the EU member states, reports Ukrainian media.

In reply, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara reiterated that Ukraine would fulfill all the requirements necessary for signing the Association Agreement in November 2013. He stated that as of May 18, most of the work had already been done; however, Ukrainian Parliament still had to adopt the necessary legislation. The minister expected the agreement to be signed, as planned, in November during the summit in Vilnius.

Notably, on May 15, 2013, the European Commission approved the proposals of the Council of the EU to conclude Association with Ukraine. The adoption of the proposals "technically enables the EU to move ahead with the required preparatory arrangements without pre-empting any decision," noted the Commission. The EU executive body highlighted that the possible Association Agreement with Ukraine, initialed in March 2012, was "the first of a new generation of Association Agreements between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries."

In order for the Association Agreement to be signed, Ukraine is expected to meet the benchmarks outlined in the December 10, 2012, conclusion of the Council of the EU meeting. The three areas where Ukraine needs to demonstrate determined action and tangible progress are the implementation of pre-agreed reforms, elimination of selective justice, and compliance of the 2012 parliamentary elections with international standards.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine