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The Council of the European Union will make a political decision regarding the signing of the Association Agreement with Ukraine in early autumn, Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service David O’Sullivan declared.
“The Council of the European Union will consider the situation with the fulfillment of the conditions necessary for the signing of the Association Agreement by Ukraine in order to make a political decision regarding its consent to its signing in early autumn,” he said during a roundtable discussion on issues related to Ukraine in the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels on Wednesday.
He also stressed the role of the EP in the process of ratification of the document, as only a positive vote in the EP will allow the agreement to be implemented earlier, before all of the EU member states ratify the document, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“This will depend on a positive vote in the EP, and this has to take place between Vilnius (the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013) and the parliamentary elections in May,” he said.
At the same time, O’Sullivan noted that he does not believe in the signing of the agreement for exclusively “geopolitical reasons.”
“Only committed and devoted work on specific problems for the fulfillment of conditions will make the signing possible,” he said.
He also commented on the recent signing of the memorandum on deeper cooperation between Ukraine and the Eurasian Economic Commission.
“We realize that Ukraine has to support good relations with its neighbors and we don’t want Ukraine to feel like it has to make some irreversible choice between relations with Europe and good relations with Russia and other neighbors. This is wrong, and we clearly stated this during the EU-Russia Summit yesterday,” he said.
The EU official expressed hope that Ukraine will support close relations with Russia and other neighbors.
“That’s how it should be. On the other hand, we have to be sure that any forms of cooperation with the Customs Union will not contradict the implementation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area,” he said.