23:30 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Czech Parliament Ratifies Ukraine-EU Association Deal

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    The Czech MPs ratified the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement in a vote held midnight on Thursday, Czech media reported.

    "Debate on ratification continued for about eight hours and resulted in a vote held just five minutes before midnight with 107 votes against 29 by the Communists,” Ceske noviny website wrote on Friday.

    The upper house of the Czech parliament ratified the agreement back in December 2014 and it will now be signed into law by President Milos Zeman.

    The Czech Communists insisted that Ukraine was unfit for EU association as it had outlawed a number of opposition parties, including the Communist party, while registering UNA-UNSO and other ultranationalist parties and movements.

    In his address to the lawmakers on Thursday Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said that approval of the Ukraine-EU association would strengthen

    Ukraine’s economic ties with the Czech Republic, speed up structural economic reforms and the “de-oligarchization” of this former Soviet republic. 

    He also argued that ratification should not be viewed as a step towards Ukraine’s membership of the European Union.

    For the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement to come into force it needs to be ratified by the remaining three members of the 28-member European Union – Cyprus, Greece and Belgium.

    Related:

    Czech Parliament Delays Ratification of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement
    German Bundestag Ratifies Ukraine-EU Association Agreement
    Tags:
    European Union, ratification, vote, association agreement, UNA-UNSO, Czech Communist Party, Lubomir Zaoralek, Milos Zeman, Ukraine, Czech Republic
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