On 16 September 2014, the Ukrainian parliament ratified the key EU association agreement (AA/DCFTA), making Ukraine compliant with EU standards of human rights, security and arms control. The alignment removes all existing trade barriers between Ukraine and EU Member States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his opposition to the agreement in a letter dated 17 September 2014 to the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Putin suggested three-way negotiations to amend the agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

Ukraine will be delaying implementation of the agreement’s free trade provisions by maintaining existing restrictions on imports from the EU until 31 December 2015, while having full access to the EU market for exporting goods. However, Putin’s letter suggests that Russia expects a complete freeze of implementation as “[a]doption of such amendments…will be considered as infringement of the arrangement to postpone implementation,” entailing retaliatory measures from Russia.

Reuters News Article