Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that members of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia could impose safeguards in the event of trade liberalization between Ukraine and the EU.  [j] The EU condemned Russia`s threats and called them unacceptable.  Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov urged Russia to "accept the reality that Ukraine signs the EU agreement" and condemned all artificial barriers as unnecessary.  In trilateral discussions in early September 2014, the European Commission, the Ukrainian and Russian government agreed to postpone the provisional implementation of the agreement until the end of 2015. "We have agreed to postpone the request until 31 December next year," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on 12 September 2014 in Brussels, at the end of talks with Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. According to Interfax, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had spoken in favour of the decision. "This is a very important decision and we are very grateful to the EU for providing privileged access to the European market," said Pavlo Klimkin. This will allow our businesses to prepare for trade liberalization.  EU countries have not yet agreed. Unilateral trade facilitation - the abolition of import duties in the EU - remains in force, provided the EU Council of Ministers is approved. Tariffs on EU products exported to Ukraine are maintained.  www.euractiv.com/sections/enlargement/fule-bulgaria-and-romanias-accession-questioned-credibility-eu-enlargement The agreement obliges Ukraine to carry out economic, judicial and financial reforms in order to converge with those of the European Union. Ukraine is committed to gradually complying with EU technical and consumer standards.
 The EU agrees to provide Ukraine with political and financial support, access to research and knowledge and preferential access to EU markets. The agreement commits both sides to promote progressive convergence towards the EU`s common security and defence policy and the policy of the European Defence Agency. The European Coal and Steel Community was established in 1952 from six Western European countries. This would lead to the European Union in 1992, as the central powers would increase and the number of members would reach 28 in 2013. The Union has a common market and in particular has the competence to conclude trade agreements. The Union has only the competence conferred on it by its Member States and, therefore, when a treaty covers areas in which it is not competent, the Member States become parties to the Treaty next to the Union. In March 2013, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele informed the European Parliament that while the Ukrainian authorities have "clearly committed" to tackling the issues raised by the EU, several "worrying" incidents have occurred recently, including the removal of the mandate of Tymoshenko`s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, in the Parliament of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine), which could delay the signing of the agreements. However, the next day, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed optimism that they would be signed in November.  On 7 April 2013, a decree issued by President Yanukovych Lutsenko was released from prison and freed him and his fellow ministers of the second government, Tymoshenko Heorhiy Filipchuk, from a new punishment.  On 3 September 2013, during the inaugural session of the Verkhovna Rada after the summer holidays, President Yanukovych asked his Parliament to pass laws to enable Ukraine to meet EU criteria and sign the Association Agreement in November 2013.
 On 18 September, the Ukrainian government unanimously approved the draft Association Agreement.  On 25 September 2013, Verkhovna President Rada Volodymyr Rybak said that he was confident that his Parliament would pass all the laws necessary to meet the EU criteria for the Association Agreement, since the Verkhovna Rada, with the exception of the Ukrainian Communist Party, "has united around these bills". [a]  2