Ukraine, EU To Sign Agreement On Association In Second Half Of 2012

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine and the European Union are expected to sign an association agreement no earlier than in the second half of 2012, newly appointed Ambassador of Poland to Ukraine Henryk Litwin told Kommersant Ukraine Newspaper.

Ukraine, EU to sign agreement on association.

The European Union, in which Kiev is expecting to clinch associate membership and a free trade zone this year, has accused the former Soviet state of playing a "double game" by simultaneously seeking entry to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

"The document must be translated into 22 languages, then it must be checked in the capitals of the EU member states," Litwin said. "All of this takes time, so it is not technically possible to sign the association agreement before the second half of 2012."

Ukraine and the European Union have "reached an understanding" on an association agreement and certain free trade zone issues, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said in April.

The Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly stated its readiness to sign the association agreement and establish a free trade zone by the end of 2011.

The talks resumed last fall after being briefly suspended over an agricultural row.

Source: RIA Novosti