EU-Ukraine free trade zone negotiations finalized


Ukraine and the European Union finalized negotiations on free trade zone agreement today in Brussels. The parties agreed upon all the key parameters of the trade related part of the Association Agreement, according to Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade.

As a result of the negotiations which took place in Brussels between the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht and First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Andriy Klyuev the parties agreed on all the key aspects of the deep and comprehensive free trade zone agreement. “Today we reached the cornerstone of our relationship – we have completed negotiations on the free trade zone,” stated Gucht. On his part Andriy Klyuev added that “the negotiations stipulate finalization of the Association Agreement before the end of the current year.”

Karel De Gucht commented that in accordance with the trade related part of the Association Agreement Ukrainian laws and standards would be harmonized with European trade regulations. He specifically pointed out future compliance of Ukrainian legislation on state procurements and competition policy with the legal base of the EU. European Commissioner noted that implementation of the agreement would enhance the creation of a more predictable climate for doing business as well as attract new investments into the country’s economy. At the joint press conference De Gucht and Klyuev stated that the experts would finalize all the technical matters of the agreement within the shortest time.

Ukraine and the EU started negotiations on creating a free trade zone back in 2008. Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Klyuev highlighted the importance of reaching such results in the times of economic crisis and vast domestic reforms in the European Union as well as in Ukraine. The Agreement on creating the deep and comprehensive free trade zone will become a core part of the Association Agreement, which has been negotiated since 2007. Kyiv and Brussels expect to sign the agreement before the end of 2011.

The consensus was reached amidst the raising doubts brought about by the guilty verdict announced on October 11 in the gas-related criminal case of Ukrainian ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.