Ukraine has approved the draft Association Agreement with the EU following meetings in the capital Kiev.
The formal signing is expected at the EU Summit in Lithuania in November.
Brussels is interested in dealing with Ukraine, but will only agree to closer relations if Kiev makes moves to release from prison former Prime Minister, Julia Tymoshenko.
Jan Tombinski leads the EU Delegation to Ukraine and spoke of the obstacles to closer union:” The election system should be more just and resilient to fraud and there is the unanswered question of selective justice, the case of Julia Tymoshenko.”
Ukraine looks set to gain trade advantages almost immediately with reduced duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU.
Euronews correspondent in Kiev, Maria Korenyuk said:
“Ninety percent of the Association Agreement text describes trade relations between the EU and Ukraine, however Ukrainians expect more from the document, such as visa liberalisation, less corruption and the establishment of the rule of law and democracy.”