On 20 and 24 October 2008, the EU and Ukraine conducted a round of negotiations on the free trade area chapter of the Association Agreement. According to some Ukrainian media, “the EU has promised to liberalise trade relations”. The representative of Ukraine said it was not “too much” necessary to focus on the negotiations, as the Ukrainian government has a lot to do to meet certain criteria. He also said that “soon the Balkans will enter the European trade area and therefore Ukraine could lose these markets.” This was seen as the reason why Ukraine has made progress, at least in the Balkans, and the EU has not commented on this perception. Visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Ukraine entered into force in 2008. In the same year, a visa dialogue was launched. At the EU-Ukraine Summit in Paris in September 2008, the parties agreed that the new enlarged agreement would be described as an association agreement. On 29 July 2013, Russia banned the import of chocolate products from the Ukrainian company Roshen and asked Belarus and Kazakhstan to follow suit. A Russian health official said the company had not met quality and safety standards, but critics said the ban was meant to warn of a closer link between Ukraine and the EU. At the time, Roshen`s owner (and future president of Ukraine), Petro Poroshenko, was considered pro-European. [206] On August 14, 2013, agents of the Russian Federal Customs Service began conducting more rigorous inspections of cargo from Ukraine than was normally the case.

[207] This lasted until August 27, 2013,[208] and statements by the Russian President`s Chief Economic Adviser, Sergei Verrev, claimed that the effect of Russia`s reaction to Ukraine`s signing of the agreement, including tariffs and trade controls, could lead to insolvency, a decline in living standards, and “political and social unrest” in Ukraine. and would be contrary to the Russian-Ukrainian Strategic Partnership and Friendship Treaty.