Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/ukraine : Eu Grants 470 Mn Euro Assistance to Kiev

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/ukraine : Eu Grants 470 Mn Euro Assistance to Kiev

Article excerpt

The European Union will grant 470 million in financial assistance to Ukraine until 2013 in order to boost the rule of law and governance in the country as well as to facilitate the entry into force of the currently negotiated EU-Ukraine association agreement. Kiev has said on numerous occasions that the tough conditions proposed by the EU in the field of trade during the association agreement talks would be difficult to meet without adequate financial assistance. Kiev's concerns have been holding back the conclusion of talks on the agreement, which includes a new generation' deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA).

A memorandum of understanding formally confirming the launch of the assistance was signed between Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev and the EU's Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner, Stefan Fule, on 2 March in Brussels. The document, seen by Europolitics, says that up to one third of the whole amount (ie between 117.5 million and 164.5 million) would be allocated to cover the costs of the implementation of the association agreement and DCFTA. A Commission source told Europolitics New Neighbours that a decision on the actual allocation of the assistance to specific programmes will be taken once the agreement is signed.

The remaining disagreements in the field of trade are perceived by both sides as the main stumbling block holding back the conclusion of negotiations on the association agreement. While the EU has been pushing for far-reaching liberalisation from the outset, Kiev wants to protect for as long as possible some of its most vulnerable sectors (agriculture and auto industry). …

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