LUXEMBURG (QHA) - On October 21, the EU's 28 Foreign Ministers will be discussing Ukraine’s progress towards closer association with the EU, at Foreign Affairs Ministers’ agenda in Luxemburg, Eutactiv informs. With Yulia Tymoshenko’s expected release in the coming weeks, an important barrier to the signature of the agreement is about to be lifted. Even though her release is not a formal condition for Kyiv’s progress towards the EU, a number of member countries – including Germany – and a number of MEPs have linked her case to the finalisation of this bilateral accord. As reported, Ministers will debate the implementation of the benchmarks that the EU set for Ukraine in December 2012, “taking into account the feedback from the European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine by pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski”. Speaking at a press conference in Luxemburg on Friday, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stressed that apart from the political considerations, Ukraine also has to deliver on a number of economic benchmarks such as recycling fees on vehicles, “which are potentially in breach of its WTO commitments”. As reported, the Foreign Affairs Council will also discuss the situation in the Southern Neighbourhood, with a special focus on Egypt, Syria, Lybia and the aftermath of the Lampedusa tragedy, as well as Myanmar, Yemen and Bosnia.

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