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    Ukrainian students stand hand in hand to create a human chain symbolizing the unity of Ukraine with EU during their action in Kiev

    Consensus on Ukraine-EU Association Unlikely by 2016 in Current Conditions

    © AFP 2018 / SERGEI SUPINSKY
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    The Ukraine-EU Association Agreement establishes a political and economic association between the parties. The association deal was signed after a coup-imposed Ukrainian government had come to power in 2014.

    GRODNO (Belarus) (Sputnik) – A consensus on Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union may not be reached by January 1 if the political atmosphere of some of the participants does not shift, Russian First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Likhachev said Tuesday.

    “The main difficulties of the [association agreement] talks is the extreme politicized approach by a number of participants…If the mood of the participants of the consultations doesn’t change, then, in my opinion, it’s very unlikely that a mutually acceptable solution will be reached by January 1,” Likhachev said.

    Likhachev added that a document needs to be drawn up that would hold weight and be recognized if the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement were to go through.

    “This needs to be a document that at least has the signs of an intergovernmental agreement or international agreement, otherwise we’ll consider that we’ve just wasted our time,” Likhachev said.

    Trilateral ministerial negotiations on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union concluded on Monday with an agreement to address Russia’s concerns this month.

    The deputy economic development minister said the sides had agreed to meet in Brussels again in late October or early November.

    Russia, as Ukraine's biggest trading partner, has repeatedly insisted on being included in the negotiations over Ukraine's EU association, fearing the process could result in an uncontrolled flow of European goods into the Russian market.

    Russia’s concerns over the implementation of the agreement led to a postponement of the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area’s (DCFTA) implementation until January 1, 2016.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    EU Association Agreement, European Union, Alexei Likhachev, Ukraine, Russia
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