Moscow has been pressuring Ukraine to join the EU for years. In 2012, Russia`s top banker Andrei Kostin told Ukrainian politicians that the deal with the EU was an “arranged marriage,” while Russia offered the country “true love.” Last year, kremlin adviser for Ukraine Sergei Glazyev warned the country of social unrest and possible secession of pro-Russian regions if he signed the deal. In the end, Yanukovych gave in at the last minute, but Glazyev`s predictions came true when the Kremlin annexed Crimea. The agreement also commits both sides to cooperate and converge policies, legislation and regulations in a wide range of areas. [How?] These include equal rights for workers, measures for the free movement of persons without visas, the exchange of information and personnel in the field of justice, the modernisation of Ukraine`s energy infrastructure, access to the European Investment Bank and a host of others. The Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine is an Association Agreement of the European Union between the European Union (EU), Euratom, Ukraine and the 28 current EU Member States (which are separate contracting parties alongside the EU and Euratom). It establishes a political and economic association between the parties. The agreement entered into force on 1 September 2017, following the provisional application of certain parties. The Parties committed to cooperate and align economic policies, legislation and regulations in a wide range of areas, including equal rights for workers, measures for visa-free movement, exchange of information and personnel in the field of justice, modernisation of Ukraine`s energy infrastructure and access to the European Investment Bank. The parties undertook to hold regular summits and meetings between ministers, other officials and experts. The agreement also provides for a deep and comprehensive free trade area between the parties. The European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1952 and consists of six Western European countries. This would lead to the European Union in 1992, when the central powers were increasing and the number of members reached 28 in 2013.
The Union has a common market and is responsible, inter alia, for the conclusion of trade agreements. The Union has only the competences conferred on it by its Member States and, therefore, where a Treaty covers areas in which it has no competence, the Member States become parties to the Treaty alongside the Union. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said this week that the agreements were of “enormous strategic importance” as they materialize amid unrest in eastern Ukraine. Before the final signing of the agreement on June 27, 2014, Russian officials said that Russia could most likely increase tariffs on Ukrainian imports, Russia is Ukraine`s largest export market and accounts for nearly a quarter of Ukraine`s international trade.  However, as a result of Russia`s aggression against Ukraine, the EU became Ukraine`s largest trading partner. It is also its main source of foreign direct investment (FDI).  The agreement applies to the UK as an EU member state until Brexit on 31 January 2020. During the transition period after Brexit, the agreement was still valid for the UK until 31 December 2020.
On 8 October 2020, the United Kingdom and Ukraine signed an Agreement replacing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement entitled `Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ukraine`. The recent events in Ukraine and the subsequent Western sanctions have led the Kremlin to attach more importance than before to the political aspect of the Eurasian Union. Combined with a recent huge gas deal with China, the EU is part of a pivot away from the West to the East, where business relations take place without accompanying conferences on human rights or geopolitics. The conclusion of the negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was announced at the EU-Ukraine Summit on 19 December 2011. This agreement is broader than similar agreements between the EU and other Central or Eastern European countries. “The most ambitious agreements negotiated so far by the European Union aim to deepen political and economic relations with the EU,” Barroso said. “We must remain active and vigilant towards our eastern neighbourhood, especially after the signing of the Association Agreements, where our responsibilities are increasing, not decreasing. Interestingly, during the current crisis in Ukraine, Russia has not made any new demands regarding the EU`s association agreements. Nor did the Russian media focus on the EU`s association agreements in their coverage of Russia`s efforts for “security guarantees”.
There are several possible explanations for this: Russia could deliberately limit discussions to NATO and security, it might consider installing a pro-Russian government that would withdraw from the Association Agreement in any case, or it might simply underestimate the importance of the agreement. .