Ukraine, EU sign historic trade and economic pact

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

11 PHOTOS
Petro Poroshenko
See Gallery
Ukraine, EU sign historic trade and economic pact
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (C) poses with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at the EU Council in Brussels June 27, 2014. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP POOL / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy pose as they attend a EU Summit held at the EU Council building in Brussels, on June 27, 2014. Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER (Photo credit should read THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy pose as they attend a EU Summit held at the EU Council building in Brussels, on June 27, 2014. Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER (Photo credit should read THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) and European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy (C) welcome Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko upon his arrival to a EU Summit held at the EU Council building in Brussels, on June 27, 2014. Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER (Photo credit should read THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) and European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy (C) welcome Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko upon his arrival to a EU Summit held at the EU Council building in Brussels, on June 27, 2014. Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER (Photo credit should read THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (C) poses with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at the EU Council in Brussels June 27, 2014. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP POOL / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
STRASBOURG, FRANCE - JUNE 26: PrPresident of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko (C), the President of PACE, Anne Brasseur (R) and Secretary Genaral Thorbjorn Jagland (L) attend to the meeting of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France on June 26, 2014. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
STRASBOURG, FRANCE - JUNE 26: President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko (L) and the President of PACE, Anne Brasseur attend to the meeting of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France on June 26, 2014. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 26, 2014. Russia said today it had finally got Brussels and Kiev to include it in talks over a landmark association agreement between Ukraine and the EU to be signed this week. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks to the media as he arrives on June 27, 2014 at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Poroshenko said the June 27, 2014 signing of an association accord with the EU marked a 'historic day' that offered his ex-Soviet country a fresh start after years of political instability. AFP PHOTO / GEORGES GOBET (Photo credit should read GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


BRUSSELS (AP) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed up to a trade and economic pact with the European Union, saying it may be the "most important day" for his country since it became independent from the Soviet Union.

The European Union signed similar association agreements with two other former Soviet republics, Moldova and Georgia.

Businesses in the three countries whose goods and practices meet EU standards will be able to trade freely in any EU country without tariffs or restrictions. Likewise, EU goods and services will be able to sell more easily and cheaply to businesses and customers in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

"It's absolutely a new perspective for my country," Poroshenko said.

It was the decision of his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, to back out of the EU association agreement in November that touched off massive protests in Ukraine, and that eventually led to Yanukovych's flight to Russia and Russia's occupation and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Before the signing, Poroshenko brandished a pen, saying it was the same pen Yanukovych was supposed to use the sign the Association Agreement at the EU summit in Vilnius last fall.

"Historic events are unavoidable," he said.

Ukraine's EU Pact Brings Russian Warning, 'Nazi' Accusations

Perhaps more important than the trade deal is an accompanying 10-year plan for Ukraine to adopt EU product regulations. Such rules are important because they ease the way for international trade beyond Europe.

The deal also demands that Ukraine change the way it does business. Adopting EU rules on government contracts, competition policy and the copyright for ideas and inventions should improve the economy by making it more investor-friendly and reducing corruption.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Read Full Story

People are Reading