The EU is interested in making full use of the potential of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), and is ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods, as provided for in the terms of the Agreement, according to Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.
He said this after talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Brussels on Wednesday, February 10, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
"We note Ukraine's interest in trade and economic cooperation, deepening our work together in areas such as digital economy, trade facilitation and customs. We are ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods envisaged in Article 29 of the Agreement, which can take place five years after its entry into force, i.e. in 2021. This will be an important step towards further improving access to our respective markets and testifies to the dynamic character of this Agreement," Dombrovskis said.
He recalled that a meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council would be held in Brussels on February 11, during which the parties would discuss the next steps for developing bilateral relations in light of implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the DCFTA.
"Ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister and I discussed the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and agreed that there is still a lot of untapped potential. We also understand the need to fully respect commitments made under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. We noted good progress already on the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. And we hope that this positive trend between Ukraine and the EU will also strengthen the role of the EU as a key trade partner for Ukraine," Dombrovskis said.
He noted that the Ukrainian prime minister "has the full support of the European Commission for an ambitious program of implementing the Association Agreement."
"So my best wishes to Ukraine's government to continue to deliver Ukraine's reform agenda, to improve the living standards and to bring Ukraine closer to the EU," Dombrovskis added.
A Ukrainian government delegation headed by Shmyhal began a working visit to Brussels on February 9. Shmyhal has already met with European Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The program of the visit also includes a series of working meetings with representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament. On February 11, Shmyhal will lead the talks in the format of the EU-Ukraine Association Council.