According to a press release from the European Union, EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is the "first agreement based on political association between the EU and any of the Eastern Partnership countries, and is unprecedented in its breadth (number of areas covered) and depth (detail of commitments and timelines)." After Russia presented an alternative trade agreement, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, did not sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Yanukovych was removed from power through revolution in February 2014 and Ukranian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk signed the political section of the agreement on March 21, 2014.
Respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as defined in particular in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 of the Conference on Securit y and Cooperation in Europe and the Charter of Paris for a New Europe of 1990, and other relevant human rights instruments, among them the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and re spect for the principle of the rule of law shall form the basis of the domestic and external policies of the Parties and constitute essential elements of this Agreement. Promotion of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and independence, as well as countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, related materials and their means of delivery also constitute essential elements of this Agreement.
The Parties recognise that the principles of a free market economy underpin their relationship. The rule of law, good governance, the fight against corruption, the fight against the different forms of transnational organised crime and terrorism, the promotion of sustainable development and effective multilateralism are central to enhancing the relationship between the Parties.