British Ambassador: Ukraine-EU Association Agreement Would Be Mutually Beneficial

KIEV, Ukraine -- Signing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union would be advantageous for both sides, stated the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Ukraine Simon Smith.

Ambassador Simon Smith

This statement was a "common belief and common vision" of the entire EU, reiterated the UK Ambassador at the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration.

The EU is convinced that the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, will introduce great benefits to Ukraine, according to the UK Ambassador.

He specified that the benefits would include the introduction of the best environmental standards, increasing opportunities for Ukrainian businesses, and improvement of the judicial system of the country.

Ambassador Smith informed that the Embassy of Great Britain considered the ways to communicate such Association Agreement benefits to Ukrainian citizens.

Moreover, the UK is ready to assist Ukraine in implementing all the necessary steps for signing the Agreement.

"We will create an informal coordinating committee that will ensure joint efforts. And we are pleased that this committee will include the members of the Committee on European Integration of the Verkhovna Rada... We are absolutely open to cooperation with you [Ukraine]," stated the Ambassador.

In his March 2013 interview with, the Ambassador reiterated Great Britain's support for Ukraine joining the EU:

"In Britain we do not show impatience in the question of whether Ukraine will join the European Union - the decision rests with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government. And no one can decide it for the Ukrainian people. But if you ask us whether we envisage Ukraine's accession to the EU in the future, our answer is yes, absolutely!"

Speaking about bilateral business relations, Ukrainian businesses were already present in Great Britain, particularly in London, said the Ambassador.

"I would be happy if a large number of Ukrainian companies were present at the UK market… We want to see Ukraine, with its fantastic potential, as our major European partner. However, it will be extremely difficult to realize this potential if the democratic processes are curbed here," he concluded.

Source: Yahoo Finance


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