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Brussels, 2 March, 2007

EU-Ukraine start negotiations on new Enhanced Agreement

European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Ukrainian chief-negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Veselovsky will meet on Monday 5 March on the occasion of the official start of the negotiations on a new Enhanced Agreement. The new agreement will reflect the strategic importance of developing EU-Ukraine relations: The main aim is to draw Ukraine closer to the EU, enhance political co-operation, increase trade and investment and thus contribute to economic development and prosperity in Ukraine. Negotiations will open new prospects for EU-Ukraine relations, including a Free Trade Area and a deeper partnership on energy.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “Ukraine has made remarkable progress in democratic and economic reform since the Orange Revolution. The negotiations of the new agreement will bring Ukraine and the EU yet another step closer together. The negotiations of a free trade area will deepen our economic integration, while further political co-operation will advance areas such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Ukraine is also a key energy partner for the EU, and the new agreement will help us to go further in ensuring energy security, improving energy safety, and environmental standards, and progress towards integration of our electricity and gas markets.”

Following the adoption of the EU negotiating directives by the Council of the European Union on 22 January, the European Commission is now swiftly launching negotiations on a new Enhanced Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The Agreement aims to deepen political co-operation on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, to establish a deep and comprehensive free trade area, increase energy security, and strengthen co-operation on key areas such as justice, freedom and security, environment, transport and people-to-people exchanges, especially of students. The establishment of a free trade area, which will be integral part of the Agreement, will be negotiated once Ukraine has finalised its accession process to the WTO.
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