KIEV, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union and Ukraine do not rule out that they may sign an Association Agreement by November, according to a joint statement adopted following 16th EU-Ukraine summit on Monday.
“The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the signing of the already initialed Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as soon as determined action and tangible progress are demonstrated in the three areas emphasized at the 2011 EU-Ukraine Summit, possibly by the time of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013,” the statement runs.
Ukraine, which has proclaimed a strategic course for Eurointegration, plans to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in late 2013. The landmark deal was initialed in March 2012 in Brussels after five years of negotiations.
The agreement, aimed at establishing political association and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine, is to replace the 1998 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement as a basis for bilateral relations.
“Therefore, Ukraine is determined to comply with those areas/elements specified by the Conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union to this end,” the joint statement also said.
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine “took note of the actions taken so far by Ukraine, and looked forward to it achieving concrete progress by early May 2013,” according to the statement.
Kiev and the EU also “noted the OSCE/ODIHR’s final assessment of the October 28, 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine, acknowledging the need to fully implement its recommendations,” and agreeing “on the importance of follow-up to electoral irregularities.”