Ukraine and the EU: turning the Association Agreement into a success story

23 April 2014
Kataryna Wolczuk (Reader in Politics and International Studies at the University of Birmingham)

It is paradoxical and symbolic that it has taken Ukraine two waves of mass protests to conclude a new agreement with the EU. As a result, the political and geopolitical implications of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine are very high. This means that it cannot be regarded merely as one of many trade agreements signed by the EU with its numerous trading partners. More attention needs to be paid to the role and impact of the Association Agreement on Ukraine. This requires screening, prioritising and sequencing of the approximation process at the national, sectoral and regional levels. Implementing the Agreement in a cost-effective way will allow Ukraine to derive benefits in the short-to-medium term, at the very time when Russia is sparing no efforts to inflict harm on the Ukrainian economy to punish the country for its European orientation.

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