Ukraine hopes for EU Stability and Association Process signing this year


VIENNA, April 26 — Ukraine has been trying to deepen ties with the European Union (EU) in recent years and hopes to sign a Stability and Association Process agreement in November, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said here on Friday.

The EU and Ukraine had previously initiated the process in March 30 last year and had agreed it would be formally signed within the specified period of time.

Meeting with his Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger, Kozhara said the signed agreement would mark a turning point for the citizens of his country, shifting focus more toward Europe, adding Ukraine would implement and meet all European standards.

Spindelegger said Austria supported a speedy association of Ukraine with the EU, which would also further improve the already good economic relations between it and Austria.

“At the moment there are 250 Austrian companies active in Ukraine, and we hope there will soon be more,” he said.

After former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was charged with abuse of power following her brokering of a 2009 natural gas deal with Russia, the EU had initially shelved the agreements it had planned to sign with the country.

She has since gone before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) who are expected to hand down their verdict on Tuesday.

In what could be seen as a sign of Ukraine’s intentions to deepen their ties with the EU, Kozhara said his country will accept the verdict.