Ukraine and the European Union initial today the Association Agreement, negotiations on which lasted five years.

From the European side, Managing Director of the European External Action Service for Russia, Eastern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans Miroslav Lajcak will initial the Association Agreement, and Deputy Director General for External Trade Peter Balas will initial the part on a deep and comprehensive free trade area.

The procedure for the initialing of the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union will be held in Brussels on Friday afternoon, March 30 and will last about three hours.
On behalf of Ukraine, the political part of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU will be initialed by the head of the negotiating group, Deputy Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, and the economic part of the document, concerning the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area, will be initialed by government commissioner for European integration Valeriy Piatnytsky.

The initialing is a technical procedure, during which parties to a treaty agree on the document’s text, declaring it ready for official signing. Then the documents need to be signed, ratified and implemented, which is already a political procedure.

At the same time, Brussels says that the agreement on a deep and comprehensive free trade area requires "proofreading." "These are not negotiations, but just a proofreading, which will take some time. When both parts are ready they will be sent for translation, which will take several months," a source in the EU told Interfax-Ukraine.

The entire treaty is expected to be agreed upon by September and then it will be translated into the 23 languages of the EU, all of whom will have to approve of the deal. According to the procedure, the text must be translated and passed to the Council of the European Union, which will issue a mandate for its signing.

However, Ukraine has yet to create necessary conditions for the document to be signed, EU officials say. In particular, the EU insists on Ukraine to respect and follow main European values, like supremacy of law, independent judicial system and fair elections.

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