EU sets conditions on closer ties with Ukraine
This covers trade in goods and services, investment and movement of capital, as well as areas such as intellectual property, a senior EU official said on March 29. It requires Ukraine to adopt many EU regulations.
The 27 EU governments and the European Parliament have to sign the accord before it comes into force. That is currently unlikely because of EU concern about the former Soviet country's judicial system, the arrest of opposition leaders and the perceived absence of free and fair elections.
A particular problem is the seven-year jail sentence that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is serving for abuse of office - a case criticised by the West as politically motivated.
"The personal fate of Yulia Tymoshenko is the tip of the iceberg," said the senior EU official. "It's about the impartiality of the judicial process in general ... We expect the adoption of European values."
No timetable has been set out for the process of ratifying the accord, and the EU official said it was a political process that would not automatically move forward. "There is not automaticity. It will be very much influenced by the political situation in Ukraine," the official said.
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