Ukraine became a member of the European Energy Community. A relevant protocol was signed today in Skopje, Macedonia, by Yuriy Boyko, Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine, and Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in his function as the Energy Community Presidency in Office, ForUm learned from the Community Secretariat.

“Today’s signature signals our political will to align the principles of Ukrainian energy policy with that of the EU. I expect the Ukrainian parliament to ratify the Treaty very quickly within the coming months," stated Mr. Boyko.

“Ukraine’s accession is a major milestone in the Energy Community process. It is evident that the geographical reference to the Western Balkans in the Energy Community context is history. Today we witness the deepening of the EU energy policy and extension of its borders”, noted Minister Fatmir Besimi.

“I am impressed by the dynamics of the Energy Community process. Just five years ago nine Contracting Parties signed the Treaty establishing the Energy Community. In 2007 Romania and Bulgaria matured from a Contracting Party to a fully fledged EU member. Now in 2010 we are welcoming Moldova and Ukraine as new members of the Energy Community. Today’s signing ceremony adds force to the ultimate objective of creating a pan-European energy market on the ground of the EU principles and rules”, Mr. Barbaso added.

The Ministerial Council of the Energy Community approved the accession of Ukraine and Moldova in December 2009. The signature of the Accession Protocol was, however, made subject to the adoption of a gas law in compliance with EU relevant rules. Today's signature follows the enactment of the new Ukrainian gas law and publication in July 2010. As a next step, the Ukrainian Parliament is now expected to ratify the Treaty establishing the Energy Community as soon as possible.

As a Party to the Treaty, Ukraine has a binding obligation to implement the core EU energy law and thereby put in place a sound and transparent market structure. The alignment with the EU legal framework will, additionally, result in improved investment climate and higher financial stability. With its legal obligation to increase usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ukraine will also contribute to tackling of climate change.

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