13:01 10.01.2017

Ukraine should implement three reforms in 2017 as part of Association Agreement

Ukraine should hold three reforms in 2017 envisaged by the Association Agreement with the European Union: on public procurement procedures, the creation of a phyto and sanitary inspection and the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptability of Industrial Products (ACAA), Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine on European Integration Olena Zerkal has said.

"The Association Agreement has three key issues, which we have had to go through. For example, we need to begin negotiations with the ACAA in the technical regulation. We have to fulfill four of five items in order to open these negotiations, and it is really an important task, if we can facilitate the export of industrial products to the EU," Zerkal said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda published on Tuesday.

"The same applies to phytosanitary: the procedure for creating a supervisory authority, its content and such things last too long. Although we had to do it fast in order to facilitate the output of agricultural products for the EU market. These two areas plus government purchases are the three key points where we need to focus in 2017," the deputy minister said.

However, she expressed the view that there should start a "movement relative to the ACAA" in 2017 and the creation of institutions should be completed, "that will contribute to the rapprochement of our systems with the European ones in the fields of veterinary medicine and sanitation, which, of course, will accelerate the output of our products to the EU market place."

The deputy minister recalled about previously held tripartite talks with the participation of the Russian Federation, where these three areas were also raised. "The Russians are focused on these areas: sanitation and veterinary medicine, technical standards and regulations. They understood in Moscow: once we change the system, the Russian market becomes uninteresting for us as the European market opens," Zerkal said.

Moreover, she expressed hope that Ukraine will complete the signing of the agreement with the EU on "open skies" in 2017. "We have reasons for optimism. Now Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy promises that they will adhere to the position on exclusion of small airports from the agreement, as it will remove the problem of Gibraltar and open further actions towards "open skies," Zerkal, adding that the British side has already given its consent.

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