But there have never been times when Ukraine and the EU were more focused on substance. And there have never been times when Ukraine’s chances to build a reliable, mutually beneficial and future-oriented relationship with the EU were as good as they have been in the run-up to concluding the association agreement.

Despite pessimistic comments on what is going on inside of the EU or in Ukraine, I am of the strong opinion that there are good reasons for optimism about Ukraine’s European prospects. One of them is the tangible progress achieved over the last year on the future of a visa-free regime.

As we all know, while stating that Ukraine’s future is clearly in the United Europe, Kyiv and Brussels have had their disagreements on how fast and in which form this future would materialize.

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