Neighbourhood Policy: Ukraine gets visas, but not free trade
23 November 2010
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna
“Ukraine closer to elimination of visas,” reports Dziennik Gazeta Prawna following the 22 November EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels. Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was promised the easing of the visa regime for compatriots travelling to the EU (once Ukraine meets EU conditions such as sealing its border with Russia) but talks on a widely anticipated free trade zone stalled. “EU diplomats have been trying to curb this enthusiasm and, in the end, they were right to do so,” argues the Warsaw daily, noting the reluctance of several EU member states, including Poland, to open the EU market to Ukrainian agricultural products or transport companies. Ukraine, on the other hand, opposes the adoption of the EU’s environmental, sanitary and copyright standards. It also insists on receiving money from Brussels to harmonise Ukraine’s regulations with the EU laws, just as Central European countries did on the eve of their accession. No wonder, writes the daily, that after 13 rounds of talks, Ukraine has closed only four out of fifteen negotiation chapters.