KIEV, UKRAINE — An Association Agreement between the E.U. and Ukraine will mean millions of dollars in agricultural exports for Ukraine, according to Ukraine Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Prysyazhniuk.

The agreement is expected to be signed at the end of November during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. The agreement, which has been met with controversy, would be a step toward a free trade agreement between the countries. 

“After signing the Association Agreement with the E.U. its key component has to start working — a deep and overall free trade area between Ukraine and the E.U. It will become the main mechanism of economic integration of Ukraine into the E.U. market,” Prysyazhniuk said. 

Ukraine could receive an additional UAH 4 billion from the export of agricultural production and more than UAH 2 billion from trade in grain crops, he said.

According to the Minister, in the long run creating a free trade zone is favorable not only for Ukraine and the E.U. but for other trade partners of Ukraine as well. 

“The primary effect from elimination of duties by the E.U., on the expert estimations, will ensure additional incomes from export of agricultural production,” Prysyazhniuk said. 

In May, the E.U. Commission adopted a proposal for the signing and provisional application of the Association Agreement. This was a necessary step toward signing the agreement in November.

The commission said signing the agreement remains conditional on determined action and progress by Ukrainian authorities on benchmarks set out in December 2012.

The Association Agreement will significantly deepen Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the E.U. As Ukraine became a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in May 2008, negotiations on the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) could be launched, as an integral part of the Association Agreement.