Ukraine Confident Its EU Membership Is 'Inevitable'

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | September 17, 2011, Saturday // 17:12
Bulgaria: Ukraine Confident Its EU Membership Is 'Inevitable' Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov is pictured here with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in April 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Ukraine will "inevitably" join the European Union in the future, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has declared.

Kiev intends to integrate with Europe and plans to sign a political association agreement by the end of 2011, which will lead off formation a free trade area with EU, Azarov said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

According to Azarov, the "inevitability" of Ukraine's membership in the EU should be reflected in the political association agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

He did confirm, however, that the EU is still "undecided" about whether to include the prospect of Ukraine's membership in the EU in the association agreement or not, a debacle that he described as a "bureaucratic dispute."

"We definitely need to include it, if we think about the future. Let's remember what China was 30 years ago, and then look for at least 10 years ahead. Ten years later, our current disputes would seem absolutely pointless. But we have to finish this discussion," said Azarov.

After Viktor Yanukovich won the presidential elections in Ukraine in February 2010, the country abandoned its pro-NATO accession course, but declared a desire to seek EU membership, while continuing to develop good relations with Russia.

However, for the time being, the declaration of the Yanukovich administration in Ukraine do not appear to be met with much enthusiasm in Brussels, and Ukraine is still very far from being recognized as a candidate country.

Talks on Ukraine's proposed associate membership of the European Union have dragged on. A Ukraine-EU summit at which Ukraine hoped to finalize details of the agreement was rescheduled from September to December as early as the spring of 2011.

According to some reports, EU officials have accused Ukraine of playing a "double game" - giving the appearance of full commitment to the EU while also seeking entry to the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Talks have also been hampered by a row over Ukraine's agricultural product export quotas.

The recent trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has proven a further stumbling block in the Ukraine-EU ties as it has attracted massive criticism from by the EU institutions and key EU member states.

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Tags: Ukraine, Russia, NATO, EU, EU accession, Viktor Yanukovich, EU enlargement, Association Agreement, Mykola Azarov, Kiev
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