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24 Sep 2010 PRESS RELEASE: Ukraine signs the Energy Community Accession Protocol

Skopje, 24 September 2010 This morning Mr. Yuriy Boyko, Minister of Fuel and Energy Ukraine, and Mr. Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in his function as the Energy Community Presidency in Office, signed a Protocol on the accession of Ukraine to the Energy Community. Representing the Vice- Presidency, Mr. Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission also took part in the ceremony.

“Today’s signature signals our political will to align the principles of Ukrainian energy policy with that of the EU. I expect the Ukrainian parliament to ratify the Treaty very quickly within the coming months," stated Mr. Boyko. “Ukraine’s accession is a major milestone in the Energy Community process. It is evident that the geographical reference to the Western Balkans in the Energy Community context is history. Today we witness the deepening of the EU energy policy and extension of its borders”, noted Minister Fatmir Besimi. “I am impressed by the dynamics of the Energy Community process. Just five years ago nine Contracting Parties signed the Treaty establishing the Energy Community. In 2007 Romania and Bulgaria matured from a Contracting Party to a fully fledged EU member. Now in 2010 we are welcoming Moldova and Ukraine as new members of the Energy Community. Today’s signing ceremony adds force to the ultimate objective of creating a pan-European energy market on the ground of the EU principles and rules”, Mr. Barbaso added.

The Ministerial Council of the Energy Community approved the accession of Ukraine in December 2009. The signature of the Accession Protocol was, however, made subject to the adoption of a gas law in compliance with EU relevant rules. Today's signature follows the enactment of the new Ukrainian gas law and publication in July 2010. As a next step, the Ukrainian Parliament is now expected to ratify the Treaty establishing the Energy Community as soon as possible.

As a Party to the Treaty, Ukraine has a binding obligation to implement the core EU energy law and thereby put in place a sound and transparent market structure. The alignment with the EU legal framework will, additionally, result in improved investment climate and higher financial stability. With its legal obligation to increase usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ukraine will also contribute to tackling of climate change.

The signing ceremony took place in the morning of the 8th Energy Community Ministerial Council. The 8th Ministerial Council is expected to adopt on detailed recommendations concerning the future implementation of the Third Energy Internal Market Package and the new EU renewable energy Directive. Also, the two recently recasted energy efficiency Directives are expected to become applicable to the eight Contracting Parties.

CHRONOLOGY: The 1st Energy Community Ministerial Council accepted Ukraine as Observer to the Treaty in November 2006. In June 2007, the Energy Community Ministerial Council mandated the European Commission to lead the accession negotiations. Starting November 2008, three negotiation rounds took place. The technical negotiations were concluded with the signature of a Memorandum in October 2009. In December 2009, the Ministerial Council agreed on the accession of Ukraine under the terms and conditions set out in the relevant protocols.

CONTACT: Heli Annika LESJAK, tel: +43 664 849 8053 heli.lesjak@energy-community.org

  Protocol on the Accession of Ukraine to the Energy Community
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