Brussels seals EU-Ukraine deal

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 16.7.2017 11:32

The EU formally adopted an Association Agreement with Ukraine on 11 July, ahead of the EU-Ukraine summit in the Ukrainian capital. The agreement widens cooperation across a host of fields and can pave the way for subsequent EU membership, ringing controversy as it reels Ukraine closer to the West at a time of hostility between Kyiv and Moscow. Set to start on 1 September, the agreement, a European Council statement read, is designed to deepen economic and political ties between the two.

The settlement will incentivise cooperation in areas including foreign and security policy. Although the Association symbolises EU unity – as when its Russia sanctions were extended – the road to ratification remains long, particularly after Dutch disagreement on Ukrainian EU membership casts shadows on processes. EU demand for Russian gas highlights sensitivities for transit-state Ukraine. Corruption, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said on 13 July, undermines efforts to streamline Kyiv with EU norms. The summit follows Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko’s meetings with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Russia has pronounced sharp words on the moves.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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