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4 October, 2013 17:27   ▪  

Karl De Gucht: We will speed up Association Agreement’s provisional application as much as possible

European Commissioner for Trade Karl De Gucht discussed trade and economic aspects of the impending Association Agreement and progress toward its signature during his meetings with the Ukrainian authorities on October 1-2, EU Co-Operation News reports

“It is of paramount importance that after – hopefully - the signature (of the Association Agreement in Vilnius this November – Ed.), we can come to what is called the “provisional application” of its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) chapter. This means that all relevant substance of the DCFTA comes into practice before the DCFTA is ratified by all the EU member states. It is very important that this happens as soon as possible— hopefully in early next year,” De Gucht commented on the provisional application of the Association Agreement as quoted by EU Co-Operation News. “Ukraine can expect that almost 100% of the DCFTA part of the Association Agreement will be provisionally applied. Only a very minor thing under DCFTA won’t come under provisional application - less than 1% of the DCFTA part.”

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The EU Council of Ministers has mentioned a number of economic benchmarks Ukraine should comply with in addition to the political ones before it can sign the Association Agreement, De Gucht noted. “These conditions refer to problems with regard to [Ukraine’s decisions about] the recycling fee on imported cars, safeguard measures on cars, coke imports, local content in production of energy from renewable sources, and renegotiation of multilateral tariff commitments under the WTO. They also relate to Ukraine’s actions to improve the business climate. We reached an agreement that the Ukrainian government will inform the EU by the end of October about its proposals to resolve all these problems,” the Commissioner commented on his meeting with the Ukrainian authorities.

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“You are under pressure from Russia, and you are not the only one. Lithuanian exports to Russia, for example, are upheld at the border. The EU will go to the WTO over this. And the EU is ready to defend Ukraine on this before the WTO because this [i.e. Russia’s trade pressure] is obviously completely against the rules of the WTO,” De Gucht commented on Russia’s attempts to disrupt the Association Agreement process for Ukraine. “The best solution to all of this is that as soon as possible – and I am reasoning in terms of months or even weeks – we get to the provisional application of the Association Agreement. In this case, the Agreement would work, and this will be the right signal to Russians. Indeed, we will speed up [the provisional application] as much as possible,” he concluded.

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