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Füle meets Ukrainian government delegation: rapid signature of Association Agreement the best signal to citizens on the streets

December 13, 2013

There is no better signal to send to Ukrainian citizens demonstrating peacefully for a secure and prosperous future, than a rapid signature of the Association Agreement with the European Union, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said yesterday after meeting with Ukrainian deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov in Brussels.


“For this purpose,” Füle told a press conference, “we have agreed today that on a basis of a clear commitment of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement we will:


(1) prepare a roadmap for implementation of the AA/DCFTA;

(2) facilitate and continue supporting Ukraine in its endeavours to create the necessary conditions conducive to reaching an arrangement with the IMF;

(3) use the existing bilateral consultation mechanisms, which will examine swiftly in depth all issues related to the implementation of the AA/DCFTA.”


The EU Commissionerwas speaking after talks in Brussels with Deputy Prime Minister Arbuzov, who came together with his colleagues, the ministers of economy, budget and the National Bank Governor. Before that, he also held a videoconference with the leaders of the opposition in Kyiv.


“Our message to both sides is the same,” he insisted:


·         The Association Agreement, including DCFTA, is still on the table. The European Union remains ready to sign it, as soon as Ukrainian authorities are ready, and prove their commitment by deeds.

·         All our current activities are focused on bringing us closer to the signature and implementation of the Association Agreement. Because this agreement:

o   provides a long term basis for our relations;

o   is a blueprint for modernisation of Ukrainian economy and framework for some of the investments that Ukraine will have to make if it is serious about its modernisation and a prosperous future,

o   offers our support for all of this, support to unlock the immense potential of Ukraine.

·         In the current context: the signature, and the process leading to it, should be also part of the political solution to the political crisis in Ukraine.


Füle warned that in the background was the looming financial crisis in Ukraine. “We need to help Ukraine to restore rapidly the confidence not only of its citizens, but also that of international investors and creditors, as a stable and predictable economy with promising growth prospects.”


He stressed it was important that Ukraine tackle the immediate financial needs in a transparent manner, notably through close cooperation with institutions such as the IMF – as any other arrangement would bring unclear or under-the-table conditions and would not create either the necessary confidence or growth.


“Very helpful in this context are the clear words by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde when she declared, in Brussels yesterday, that the IMF was ‘ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine at any time, if Ukraine wants to help its economy going in the right direction’.”


Dismissing some of the “grossly exaggerated speculations about the alleged cost of Ukraine's modernisation linked to the AA”, Füle said it was important to take a sober look at short and long-term benefits and not see related investments that would create a modern, competitive Ukrainian economy, as a cost.


“Given the rapidly deteriorating economic and political situation in the country, the faster Ukraine clarifies its intentions, the faster we can both start and finish our work.”


He said the EU stood ready to help and support Ukraine in its modernisation on the basis of the Association Agreement, including through topping up IMF loans with macro-financial assistance, by stepping up the European Union's financial assistance programmes to help Ukraine implement the Agreement, when signed, and helping to bring on board other international partners. (EU Neighbourhood Info)


Read more


Press release


EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Ukraine: swift signature of Association Agreement would be best way to address short-term economic challenges – Ashton (12-12-13)


EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Barroso: young Ukrainian are writing the new narrative for Europe on the freezing streets (09-12-13)


EU-Ukraine relations


EU Delegation to Ukraine  


EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage - Ukraine    


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