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6 June, 2013 09:00   ▪  

David O'Sullivan: EU-Ukraine relationship is slowly running out of runway

Tangible progress on reforms rather than geopolitical considerations is essential for EU to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine, David O'Sullivan, the chief operating officer of the European External Action Service told the European Parliament at a public hearing organised by the Yushchenko Institute of former President Viktor Yushchenko, and hosted by the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), EurActiv reports.

O'Sullivan underlined that Brussels will not sign the EU-Ukraine association agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) “purely on geopolitical considerations”.

“Tangible progress” by Kyiv was “essential” on three issues for the signature of the agreements, O’Sullivan said – elections, selective justice and judicial reform.

O'Sullivan said the EU's main concern regarding the October election was Kyiv's apparent lack of strategy, especially regarding the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who is serving a prison sentence for abuse of office.

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O’Sullivan added that there were also “many other issues” which would impact on the decision made, such as the business climate. He said the EU was seriously concerned about safeguard measures introduced by Ukraine, which in his words were affecting seriously the interests of EU exports sectors and were crating “doubts” as to Ukraine’s ability to respect its commitments under the DCFTA.

O’Sullivan also said that the EU and its member countries were watching Ukraine’s rapprochement with Russia very closely, notably developments on the Eurasian Union and the Customs Union proposed by Moscow. They were now assessing whether this process hinders its European ambitions. O’Sullivan said that the EU understood Ukraine’s need to maintain good relations with all its neighbours, but it didn’t want Kyiv “to make some kind of irreversible choice” between close relations with Europe and becoming part of the Russian economic and political area.

Source: EurActiv


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