Ukraine and the EU have completed the signing of the Association Agreement, particularly its economic part, which foresees the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area. The signing ceremony took place at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Friday, 27th of June.
The document was signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and the heads of state and government of the 28 EU member states.
“This is a completely new perspective for my country. I believe that this is a historic day for an independent country. We should use this opportunity to modernize the country. The only thing we need for that is peace and security,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, while commenting on the importance of the Association Agreement with the EU.
“It [the signature] is also a starting point, opening the most ambitious external relationship ever developed with the European Union. These agreements are not the final stage of our cooperation,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said.
He said that stronger political and economic ties would bring greater stability and prosperity to the entire European continent. According to the European leader, such cooperation can only be based on common values, in particular, democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Van Rompuy reiterated that the EU was on the side of Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, in turn, said that truly historic day for the EU. “These are not just any other agreements – but milestones in the history of our relations and for Europe as a whole,” he said.
The political chapter of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was signed on March 21, 2014. (Read here)
The Association Agreement is designed to provide a new, in-depth format of relations between Ukraine and the EU. The document will not only lay a qualitatively new legal framework for future relations between Ukraine and the EU, but also serve as a strategic guide for systemic social and economic reforms in Ukraine and a large-scale adaptation of Ukraine’s legislation to EU standards and rules.