How has the Ukraine-EU relationship changed over time?

Ukraine signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU in 1994. It was based on common values around democracy, human rights and a market economy, which established the prospect of a future free trade area.

Russia was Ukraine’s largest export market as recently as 2012, but by 2018 after the signing of the 2014 Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, Russia’s share of Ukrainian exports fell to 15 per cent while the EU accounted for 41 per cent and imports also followed the same pattern.

The EU is currently Ukraine’s largest trading partner. About 40 per cent of its trade in 2019 was with the EU, with the total trade between the two sides worth 43.3 billion euro. During the post-Soviet period, Ukraine’s relations with the EU and the corresponding impact on its relationship with Russia played a critical role in the political development of the country.

In 2013, then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych backed off from signing the EU Association Agreement, which eventually led to the Euromaidan Revolution. In February 2019 the Ukrainian parliament decided on a constitutional amendment making EU (and NATO) membership long-term goals for Ukraine.

Picture Credit : Google

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