EU turns down Ukraine, but offers closer links

Ukraine met with a rebuff at the EU-Ukraine Summit, but more co-operation is foreseen in the areas of free trade, especially energy and visa facilitation.

The summit, which took place in Helsinki on 27 October 2006, was the first meeting with the Ukrainian government since the elections. While Barroso clearly ruled out Ukrainian EU membership, saying: “Ukraine is not ready and we are not ready,” both EU and Ukraine leaders emphasised their desire for closer co-operation.

The EU stressed that with Ukraine finalising the process of WTO accession, a new agreement including a free-trade area is in reach. The parties agreed to launch official negotiations for the new Enhanced Agreement in early 2007. 

The summit also put emphasis on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on energy co-operation. Ukraine stressed its commitment to enhancing the security of energy supplies.

Agreements on EU-Ukraine visa facilitation and re-admission were welcomed by Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko saying that “this document will be felt by every Ukrainian”.

Subscribe to our newsletters