The Ukrainian (Rada) and European parliaments simultaneously ratified a delayed trade and political deal between Ukraine and European Union on Tuesday.
The EU-Ukraine ‘associate agreement’ was voted for by all 355 MPs who were present for the vote in the parliament chamber in Kiev, 10 months after the then president Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign up to the deal, unleashing a series of events which led to bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“No nation has ever paid such a high price to become Europeans,” new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said after the votes in both parliament chambers were passed.
President Poroshenko signed up to the pact, alongside Moldova and Georgia, on 27 June.
“Delighted that EU and Ukraine ratified their Association Agreement, initialled during Polish presidency. Big boost to Eastern Partnership,” Poland’s foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted, referring to Warsaw’s staunch support for Ukraine pro-West aspirations.
The vote was not unanimous in the European Parliament, however, with 535 MEPs voting ‘yes’ to ratification to 127 against and 26 abstaining. (pg)