Ukraine's membership in the European Union and accession to NATO remain the strategic goal of the state, but this is not the prospect for 2018. This was stated by President Petro Poroshenko in the column for the special issues of Novoye Vremya and The Economist Mir magazines, which was published on January 6.
"Membership in the EU, like joining NATO, certainly remains our strategic goal. Since this prospect is clearly not for 2018, and it is not our business, as the Scripture says, to know the times and dates, I will only note that I firmly believe in its realism, "Poroshenko noted.
He added that an association agreement with the EU is "a road map for further fundamental changes that will bring Ukraine closer to the Copenhagen criteria for membership in a prestigious union of peace."
"During the Eastern Partnership Summit, I outlined the plan for further intermediate steps: an association with the Schengen zone, accession to the EU Customs Union, the EU Energy Union and the Single Digital Market. Sectoral integration will actually turn the country's eastern borders into EU borders before we de jure will join the EU, "the head of state said.
In 2014, after the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine signed the Association Agreement with the EU. During 2014-2017 the Agreement was ratified by the Verkhovna Rada, the European Parliament, as well as national parliaments of all EU countries.
September 1, 2017 Agreement on the Association of Ukraine with the EU entered into force. Later Peter Poroshenko noted that the Agreement was executed only by 15%.
We recall, June 11 visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union entered into force. However, visa-free travel does not work with the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.