BRUSSELS – EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule has stated that the signing and ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement depends on how Ukraine tackles its problems with the supremacy of law and the criminal case against former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
"Technical work on the agreement continues, but the EU member states say that the [right] environment has to be created for signing and ratification. This will be an agreement under which our partner Ukraine will receive access to a major part of European legislation and may gradually become a part of the EU market. Much will depend on the solution the Ukrainian authorities find to the situation with the supremacy of law and the issue you mentioned," Fule said during a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday to a journalist’s question about the Tymoshenko case.
The EU commissioner noted that the European Commission and the EU member states "have clearly declared several times that the detention of former premier for political responsibility, and not a crime, under two articles of the Criminal Code of 1960s, is not a correct way to treat opponents."
Fule confirmed that Brussels is awaiting the EU-Ukraine summit scheduled for Dec. 19. According to him, one of the main issues on the agenda is the issue of the Association Agreement.
"Over recent months and weeks we have managed to settle the remaining problems connected with the economic part – the free trade area – and the Association Agreement. There remains one more issue, which has to be considered by the Ukrainian delegation and the EU countries – Ukraine’s European prospects. This discussion is not in a vacuum: the European Commission, as well as the member states, are watching the situation in Ukraine," the EU Commissioner said.