It is impossible for Ukraine both to join the Customs Union and sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the European Commission has said.

In a comment for Interfax-Ukraine about the possible development scenario in case of full or partial integration of Kyiv into the Customs Union, a representative of the European Commission explained that Ukraine has to choose whether to bring its legislation in compliance with the EU law or with those regulations those applied in the Customs Union.

"It would not be possible for Ukraine to align to both (technical regulations) at the same time. It is for Ukraine to choose which path to follow, knowing that the Customs Union and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement are mutually incompatible," the Commission said.

Brussels said that the scenario of a full integration of Ukraine with the Customs Union would pose major challenges, as Ukraine would not be able to conduct and implement any autonomous bilateral trade policy, having transferred its sovereignty on tariff matters and other key commercial policies to the Customs Union.

The commission stressed that even a partial accession to the Customs Union affecting the Ukrainian tariffs or its regulatory trade-related framework would be problematic.

"As a result, notwithstanding the complexity of the issues to be also solved in the context of Ukraine's WTO membership, joining the Customs Union would affect the privileged trading relations sought by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU," the commission said.

Brussels recalled that in general the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with Ukraine "aims at reaching full and effective trade integration between the two markets, by lifting reciprocal customs tariffs and quotas, and by providing the basis for harmonization of laws, norms and regulations in various trade-related sectors."

The agreement offers Ukraine a framework for modernization of trade relations and economic development that will positively affect multiple aspects of its economic life while benefitting its stakeholders.

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