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EU, Ukraine FTA to be modern for the 21st Century
Feb '08
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoschenko. The two reiterated their common ambition to negotiate a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Commissioner Mandelson accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Tymoschenko to travel to Kiev to launch the negotiations as soon as possible following the formal ratification of Ukraine's WTO membership. Mandelson and Tymoschenko also discussed current bilateral trade issues.

Speaking at a press point following the meeting, Mandelson was optimistic about the potential of an EU-Ukraine FTA: "We will now be able to look towards a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ukraine. This will be a modern FTA for the 21st Century, which will be instrumental in promoting mutual trade, investment and economic integration".

Mandelson also took the opportunity to congratulate Tymoschenko and her team on the new impetus that they gave to Ukraine's WTO accession, as a result of which the WTO is due to formally endorse Ukraine's membership on 5th February. Just two weeks earlier Mandelson and Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyrya had worked out the final details in their discussions on Ukraine's accession to WTO.

The EU completed its bilateral negotiations with Ukraine on its WTO accession in 2003. It has since then continued to work with the Ukraine in the multilateral working group that considers all applications for WTO membership on a number of issues, including guarantees concerning agreed reductions in export duties on some raw materials. The EU will now begin negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement with Ukraine.

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