EU and Ukraine: towards closer relations
Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine;
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council;
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
© European Union 2013
The 16th EU-Ukraine summit took place in Brussels on 25 February 2013. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the conditions for the signature of the Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November. The key issue of discussion was Ukraine's reform agenda.
"We had a constructive working summit", said Herman Van Rompuy. "We discussed the steps ahead in order to have the appropriate political circumstances to proceed with the signing of the Association Agreement. We focused on the three main areas where the European Union has set out specific criteria, namely selective justice, elections and Association Agenda reforms. I have underlined the European Union's call for determined action and tangible progress in these areas at the latest by May this year."
Other issues were the macro-economic situation in Ukraine and possibilities for EU financial assistance; mobility, including the latest developments regarding visa facilitation; and regional and international issues in the context of Ukraine’s OSCE Chairmanship, such as the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.
The EU accounted for 29 % of Ukraine’s external trade in 2011, being its second commercial partner (after Russia). In 2012, total trade between Ukraine and the EU was in excess of €38 billion, including almost €24 billion of European exports to Ukraine and €14.5 billion of Ukrainian exports to Europe. Food and drinks, raw materials and machinery and vehicles represent the most significant Ukrainian exports to the EU market, while European exports to Ukraine consist mostly of machinery and vehicles, chemicals and other manufactured goods.
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