Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Debate on Ukraine

On 12 December 2012 MEPs debated progress towards concluding an association agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

The agreement was broadly concluded in 2011, although has yet to be signed and implemented.

It covers a number of issues including economic partnership, consumer protection, cultural co-operation and free trade.

Relations between the EU and Ukraine are currently based on a 1998 partnership and co-operation agreement that is more limited than the proposed association agreement.

A number of MEPs have raised concerns over allegations of human rights abuses in Ukraine, including the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko who was jailed for seven years in October 2011 for abuse of office during her time as prime minister.

The ex-Soviet republic has been divided in recent years between those seeking closer ties with Russia and those who want to develop Ukrainian links with the EU.

The recent parliamentary elections saw a win for President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions which is largely pro-Russia.

Observers from the European Academy for Elections Observation said the election was held "in compliance with democratic norms", whilst observers from ex-Soviet countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States said it was "transparent and democratic".

However regional security body the OSCE said the vote had been marred by "abuse of power and the excessive role of money".

A resolution on the situation in Ukraine was approved during the daily voting session on 13 December 2012.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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