EU cannot lose Ukraine

The Ukraine is important for the EU, agreed European Union's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip during t

EU cannot lose Ukraine

The Ukraine is important for the EU, agreed European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip during their meeting in Tallinn on August 26, 2013. Both politicians expressed hope that Ukraine would also make efforts to conclude the Association Agreement in November this year during the Eastern Partnership meeting in Lithuania.

Relations between Ukraine and the European Union (EU) are currently shaped via the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), a foreign policy instrument of the EU designed for the countries it borders. The European Union (EU) is seeking an increasingly close relationship with Ukraine, going beyond cooperation, to gradual economic integration and deepening of political cooperation. Ukraine is said to be a priority partner within the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) In 2012 the EU signed deals on free trade and political association with Ukraine, however EU leaders have stated that these agreements will not be ratified unless Ukraine addresses concerns over a “stark deterioration of democracy and the rule of law”, including the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko in 2011 and 2012. On February 25, 2013, the EU set a three-month deadline for Ukraine to carry out the required changes to its justice and electoral systems in order to enable the formal signing of their agreements with the EU.

During his meeting with the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Estonian PM Andrus Ansip reiterated Estonia’s expectations regarding the Eastern partnership summit in Vilnius in November, which include achieving an association and free trade agreement with Ukraine. The signing of the agreement, according to Estonian PM, would take Ukraine’s relations with the European Union to a new level.

The Estonian PM remarked that one of the tasks Ukraine had to perform in order to be able to sign the AA was to reform the judicial system in the country. “We cannot agree with the selective justice, and Ukraine has already taken steps to address this problem,” said the prime minister after his April trip to Ukraine.

In July 2013, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule stressed that Ukraine demonstrated a positive trend while preparing for signing the Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013. Ukraine’s government understands how important the agreement is for the country as well as for the EU, he noted.

In Fule’s opinion, the Ukrainian government was firm in its decision to integrate with the European Union and was not choosing between Europe and the Russia-led Customs Union. Nevertheless, it’s been noted that Russia has been employing efforts to expand and promote the alternative economic area – the Customs Union and pressing Ukraine to join it.

Earlier, the Ambassador of Lithuania to Ukraine Petras Vaitiekunas released a statement, saying that Ukraine had been demonstrating tangible progress in European integration aspirations. In his opinion, the Eastern Partnership policy today remains essential for the expansion of European values. The Ambassador mentioned that the Eastern Partnership policy held by the European Union was the evidence that the EU had been interested in giving Ukraine the status of a member of this organization in the future.

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