The application of trade and related matters has now been delayed until 1 January 2016

The application of trade and related matters has now been delayed until 1 January 2016

The establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) in Ukraine by the European Union has been delayed as tensions in the country continue.

The European Council said it had agreed an amended timetable for the provisional application of parts of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, delaying the application of trade and related matters until 1 January 2016.

The decision was made following consultations with the Ukrainian side and “as part of efforts towards a comprehensive peace process in Ukraine”, it added.

The delay covers the establishment of the DCFTA, which was signed by the EU and Ukraine on 21 March and 27 June respectively, and which has been given the consent of the European Parliament, although ratification by member states remains ongoing.

The decision by the Council also paves the way for the provisional application of much of the remainder of the Association Agreement to start from 1 November – including increased co-operation in a number of economic sectors, as well as financial co-operation.