23:25 GMT23 February 2020
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    The EU Council said in a statement Tuesday it had finally approved the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, establishing a political and economic association between the bloc and the country, was signed in 2014. It was ratified by all EU member states in 2016 with the Netherlands being the last state to support the move. In April 2016, Dutch voters held a referendum on the issue and rejected the agreement by 61 percent of votes out of fears that the deal would obligate the Netherlands to provide financial or military support to Kiev. Despite low voter turnout and the non-binding nature of the referendum, most Dutch parties agreed to abide by the outcome.

    "On 11 July, the Council adopted a decision to conclude the Association Agreement with Ukraine on behalf of the European Union. This takes place on the eve of the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, on 12 and 13 July. This is the final step of the ratification process through which the EU and Ukraine commit to a close, long-term relationship in all main policy areas. It will allow the full implementation of the agreement as of 1 September 2017," the statement said.

    According to the statement, the entry into force of the agreement will let the European Union and Ukraine cooperate in such areas as foreign and security policy, justice, taxation, public finance management, science and technology, education and information society.

    In 2014, Ukraine firstly signed the political provisions, and several months later — the economic part of the Association Agreement on the free-trade area with the European Union, which came into effect on January 1, 2016. The document stipulates the implementation of a series of political and economic reforms in Ukraine aimed at improving political and social institutions and eliminating corruption to gain access to the EU market.

    On June 11, the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union entered into force, following the April 6 approval by the European Parliament.

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    EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, EU Council, European Union, Ukraine
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