KYIV, Ukraine, December 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The negotiations on the Association Agreement, including creation of the free trade zonebetween Ukraine and the European Unionhave been finalized. "This has been a very successful summit; finally, we have reached a consensus. This is a great step forward in the EU-Ukraine relations," stated the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy at the 15th EU-Ukraine summit, held in Kyiv on December 19.
"We officially declare the finalization of the Association negotiations [between Ukraine the EU]," stated Herman Van Rompuy at the beginning of the plenary session of the summit. The EU top official admitted that it had been a complicated process, but "the Ukrainian government declared its European choice and its goal to finalize the negotiations". Political determination was the key to success, according to Van Rompuy. The rule of law, however, stillwas a very important issue for the future of the relations between Ukraine and the bloc of 27 countries. In this context the European Council President mentioned conviction of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko. Van Rompuy also urged the Ukrainian state to hold fair parliamentary elections next year.
"The summit will allow us to take a look at the final stretch of the negotiations of theAssociation Agreement. We will set our priorities for further work. And it will be a placefor open and critical discussions where we will also raise our concerns on a number ofcurrent challenges facing Ukraine and the EU," stated Van Rompuy prior to the summit.
Commenting on furthering political association and economic integration, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barrosodeclared that it had beenthe European Union's stated objective. He highlighted the determination to reach it through the conclusion of negotiations on the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. He also pointed out the need for the Ukrainian authorities to demonstrate their abiding such values as democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and independence ofjudiciary.
The participants of the summit clarified that the procedure of the initialing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was not possible at the summit due to technical issues.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine