Ukraine and EU Ratify Association Agreement


Ukraine ratified the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement this morning in Kyiv during a ceremony conducted simultaneously with European Union officials in Strasbourg. 

European Parliament President Martin Shulz referred to the simultaneous ratifications as a "historic moment." "Two parliaments doing this at the same time by agreement - that is free democracy, that is free self-determination, that's the opposite of directed democracy," he said at the Strasbourg signing. 

In Ukraine, the agreement received unanimous approval, with all 355 in attendance voting in favor. The European Parliament also approved the deal by a clear majority by a margin of 535 to 127 with 35 abstentions. 

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (the AA/DCFTA) requires Ukraine to be compliant with EU standards in the areas of human rights, security, and arms control.

It also removes trade barriers between Ukraine and the EU, but this aspect of the agreement will not fully go into effect until 2016 due to a compromise formed after pressure from Russia. Until then, Ukraine will continue to maintain existing restrictions on imports from the EU but will not face restrictions on exports into the EU. 

This is a major step for Ukraine toward European Union membership. In the words of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, "Tell me please, who after this will dare to close the door of Europe to Ukraine? Who will be against the prospective of membership in the EU, towards which we are taking today our first but most decisive step?"


Photo courtesy of the European Parliament.