Against the background of the rapid developments, that taking place in the political and economical life of the Hellenic Republic such as the early Parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on 20 September, 2015, necessity to settle the country`s debt and fulfillment the all conditions and austerity measures with the foreign creditors, long-standing bilateral relations between European Greece and Ukraine remain open, friendly and partnership.
On 27 June 2014, while the Greek Presidency on the EU, the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU – which also includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) – was signed in Brussels. For the entry into force, the Association Agreement should to be ratified by all EU countries. I consider as extremely important that the majority of the EU member states (except Cyprus and Greece) have already ratified the agreement and informed about it, in accordance with the procedure, the General Secretariat of the EU Council.
I also would like to emphasize that till now the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU took all necessary state procedures in the Greek Parliament and is ready for ratifying.
Realizing the complexity of the situation in the country, I hope that the issue of ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will take a worthy place among the priorities of the newly elected Parliament of Greece.
I am confident that the ratification by the Greek Side the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU will be a manifestation of friendship, partnership and solidarity between our two countries.
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between the twenty-eight countries of Europe and for over 500 millions of people advanced with the highest level of political freedoms and economic standards.
First of all, for Ukraine signing the Association Agreement with the EU is the first step to become a full-fledged member of the European family of nations, to reach European standards and apply for a membership in the European Union.
The Association Agreement is the most effective tool for making the large-scale political and economic reforms in Ukraine.
Through tariff liberalisation and above all regulatory approximation, Ukraine will take advantage of new trading opportunities and easier access to the EU market. It can expect to reap the benefits of its firm commitment to a path of institutional and economic reforms.
Through the Association Agreement Ukraine will progressively remove customs tariffs and quotas, extensively harmonise laws, norms and regulations in various trade-related sectors, and create the conditions for aligning key sectors of the Ukrainian economy to EU standards. The DCFTA will create opportunities for trade by lowering tariffs on imports. European Commission estimates suggest that the implementation of the EU-Ukraine deal is expected to boost Ukraine’s income by around €1.2 bln per year.
Ukrainian exports to the EU are expected to increase by €1 bln per year. Sectors that would benefit the most are wearing apparel and textiles, food products, vegetable oil and non-ferrous metals. New market opportunities in the EU and higher production standards will spur investment, stimulate the modernization of agriculture and improve labour conditions.
Also Ukraine is expecting to get a visa-free regime with the European Union, from January 1, 2016.
For the European Union is an important significantly deepen political and economic ties with Ukraine, as a European country, with a long-term perspective for closer political association and economic integration, as well as to gradually integrate Ukraine in the EU’s Internal Market, the largest single market in the world.
Agreement also contribute to stability and the promotion of democratic values in the EU’s neighborhood, as well as benefit EU businesses by opening up new markets and providing for a more secure business environment when investing in Ukraine.
EU goods and services exporters, and EU investors will be able to operate freely on Ukraine`s markets and sell more readily and cheaply to businesses and citizens in Ukraine.
Ambassador of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic Mr. Volodymyr Shkurov