EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule has reiterated the EU's commitment to sign the remaining chapters of the Association Agreement with Ukraine and confirmed that the implementation of the agreement is not a final goal in bilateral relations between Kyiv and Brussels.
"We remain committed to conclude the signature procedure of the remaining chapters of the Association Agreement as soon as possible after the May 25 presidential elections," he said at an Eastern Partnership conference in Prague on Friday. Fule also confirmed the European Council's decision that the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area does not constitute the final goal in EU-Ukraine cooperation. "This is by no means the end of the road... The greater the commitment and implementation of the joint agreements, the more ambitious the destination. Our partners, especially those with European ambitions, need to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I hope the EU and its Member States will rise to that challenge," he said. Speaking about the events in Ukraine, Fule called them "the most serious crisis since 1945." "The people of Ukraine, its independence and sovereignty should not become victims of geopolitical zero-sum games. This is not how politics is conducted in the 21st century. This is not why the Eastern Partnership was established. We will always support and stand by those who are subject to undue pressures," he said. In this regard, Fule noted the rapid reaction from the EU. "From the start we have insisted that any solution on Ukraine must be peaceful, must involve Ukraine, must be based on full respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the right of Ukraine to decide on its own constitution and political future. We therefore, together with Ukraine, Russia and the United States, took part in quadrilateral talks on April 17 in Geneva," Fule said. In addition, he spoke about issues of financial assistance and energy security. "Now is the time to show an even stronger, more determined, and resolute commitment to the Eastern Partnership," he said.