EU to sign political part of association agreement with Ukraine

EU to sign political part of association agreement with Ukraine

52Brussels, March 19 (IANS) European Council President Herman Van Rompuy Wednesday said the European Union (EU) will sign the political provisions of the Association Agreement with Ukraine Friday.

In a letter to EU leaders, Van Rompuy said the 28-member bloc will sign the document in the presence of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on the second day of the EU summit, Xinhua reported.

Van Rompuy said the EU spring summit would focus on industrial competitiveness, Ukraine and the bloc’s energy strategy.

“As regards to industrial competitiveness, Europe needs a strong and competitive industrial base, in terms of both production and investment, as a key driver for economic growth and jobs,” said Van Rompuy in his letter to the EU leaders.

Van Rompuy noted that the EU leaders would discuss ways to beef up the bloc’s industrial competitiveness, and several conclusions would be adopted, including the Single Resolution Mechanism and Taxation.

He said the summit would also focus on the EU’s climate and energy strategy, urging EU leaders to accelerate completing the Internal Energy Market by this year and reduce the bloc’s energy dependency on the external market.

Meanwhile, the European Commission Wednesday proposed new macro-financial assistance to Ukraine of up to one billion euros (about $1.39 billion ) in medium-term loans.

According to the commission, the loans are intended to assist Ukraine economically and financially in view of the critical challenges it is facing, notably a very weak and rapidly worsening balance of payments and fiscal situation, which is being worsened by the current crisis.

“It is in the essential interest of Ukraine and of the EU to maintain peace, political and financial stability in our continent,” said European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn. “This financial aid will help in stabilising the worsening financial situation in Ukraine and therefore will be one vital part of achieving a solution to the crisis.”

The commission said the proposed EU aid is designed to help Ukraine cover part of its urgent external financing needs in the context of the stabilisation and reform programme currently under preparation with the help of the International Monetary Fund, and to reduce the economy’s short-term balance of payments and fiscal vulnerabilities.

The proposed aid package is expected to be approved by EU member states in weeks, and would be implemented in parallel with the existing programme of 610 million euros (about $847.9 million), which has been available since 2010 but has not yet been released.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.