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You're reading: Acceptable compromises and shared hypocrisies

Early steps

Ukraine entered a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU
in 1998, and in May 2009, It joined the Eastern Partnership Project, an
initiative of Poland and Sweden that also encompassed six of the EU
border states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, and
Ukraine. Ironically, aside from Moldova, all of them were founding
states of the Soviet Union in December 1922, though at that time the
three Caucasian states formed a single bloc. In December 2011, at the 15th
EU-Ukraine summit, the two sides entered final negotiations to
establish a political association and economic agreement to replace the
original PCA, namely the Association Agreement (AA).

On 30 March 2012, the partners initialed the AA, which included a
Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The EU requested a number
of reforms in Ukraine to be in place before the final signing. They
included improvements to the legal and juridical systems, prison
confinement, changes to the election laws, and positive steps toward the
release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose arrest the EU
perceives as politically motivated and based on “selective justice.” The
release earlier this year of another high profile political prisoner,
the former Minister of Interior Yuri Lutsenko, on 7 April 2013, appeared
to be a major step in the right direction, but his case was less
problematic for the Ukrainian leadership. Still, the stage seems set for
three of the state in the Eastern Partnership—Ukraine, Moldova, and
Georgia—to sign Association and DCFT agreements with the EU at the
Vilnius Summit on 28-29 November.

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