Gernot Erler, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, issued the following statement today (1 September) on the entry into force of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement:
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which was signed in March and June 2014, enters fully into force today.
Following the easing of visa requirements in June this year, this is another very special day for the EU and its Member States, but especially for Ukraine. We recall that the Yanukovych Government’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement, despite promises to the contrary made to the public, led to the Euromaidan protests and played a crucial role in the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.
The Agreement enables Ukraine to have closer ties with the EU, its economic area and its values. We hope that Ukraine will make use of the opportunity to further its political and social transformation process by fully implementing the reforms agreed in the Association Agreement and DCFTA. That is the prerequisite for stability and prosperity in the country and the best protection against destabilisation attempts from abroad. Germany and the entire EU stand resolutely shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine.
I congratulate Ukraine on this special occasion and hope that all Ukrainians will remember this day as an historic milestone on the path to ever-closer cooperation with the EU and its Member States.