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Iran Press TV

Ukraine signs agreement with EU

Iran Press TV

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:52AM GMT

Ukraine's new authorities have finally inked a free trade deal with the European Union (EU) following months of violent unrest and clashes over the issue.

The deal will ultimately break a historically close relationship between Ukraine and its major trading partner and neighbor Russia.

The signing of the agreement comes after 8 months of violent unrest in Ukraine.

Earlier in November, the country plunged into chaos after then President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign the so-called Association Agreement with the 28-member bloc. The refusal triggered months of unrest and clashes, which finally led to the ouster of Yanukovych on February 23.

Following Yanukovych's ouster, pro-Russia protests broke out in Ukraine's eastern and southern regions. The protests gained momentum after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and became part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.

The "Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area" (DCFTA) will now replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that Ukraine and the EU had signed in 1998.

Ukraine may no longer be considered Russia's preferential trade partner, and therefore it stands to lose $500 billion in costs for the decision to step away from the Russian Federation.

The new Western-backed government in Kiev instead hopes that a duty-free trade with Europe will connect it to the bloc's $17 trillion economy.

MOL/HJL



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