Following a decision made by members of the Dutch Senate, the country of Ukraine will be able to collaborate with the European Union, as part of the free trade area.
An important decision comes from the EU in its relations with Ukraine. Dutch officials managed to vote on a crucial EU-Ukraine deal, which should help the former Soviet nation gain access to Western facilities and business opportunities. The business pact between the EU and Ukraine was signed back in 2014, but it still needed all EU member states to agree with the conditions. The Netherlands was the last country to vote on the deal, in the last week of May 2017. This also followed a previous referendum in which the country’s citizens rejected the original proposal and forced officials to modify the document. However, after deliberation, the country’s Senate voted YES on the possibility to collaborate with the Eastern European nation. The measure is set to be signed into law as early as the 1st of June, but the accord will most likely enter into force at around September 1st.
Regarding this latest decision, the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker believes this vote sends ‘an important signal from the Netherlands and the entire European Union to our Ukrainian friends: Ukraine’s place is in Europe. Ukraine’s future lies with Europe’. Not only that, but Junker also expects the official process to be finalized in time for the July EU-Ukraine summit.
On the other hand, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova believes the EU will most likely take advantage of Ukraine’s resources: ‘Kiev will continue to pretend not to foresee the rapid transformation of Ukraine from a developed industrial state into an agrarian appendage and a source of raw materials for the EU’.
However, Ukraine is already benefiting from a provisional application of the agreement. The country has been able to export most of its goods and services, with no charge, since 2016. This step helped Ukraine to upkeep its agriculture and meat processing sectors, informs the academic director at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting in Kiev, Veronika Movchan. Furthermore, Ukraine dropped several taxes for EU imports, which helped companies and individuals buy inexpensive machinery for agricultural activities.
The Senate vote is among the last few steps towards making the deal with Ukraine a reality. However, the process to make the agreement official is most likely to be finalized by the beginning of September.