On 22 July 2008, it was announced that a „stabilization and association“ agreement would be signed between Ukraine and the European Union.  However, in 2011, the European Union`s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, warned Ukraine that talks on a European Union association agreement with Ukraine would continue, the process of ratifying the treaty „if there is no reversal of the action of the Ukrainian authorities“ in the face of the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.  The Association Agreement must be ratified by all Member States and the European Parliament in order for this document to enter into force.  Tymoshenko`s sentence to seven years in prison on 11 October 2011 sparked national and international protests and threatened relations between Ukraine and the European Union.   Tymoshenko himself stated that his imprisonment should not prevent the European Union from establishing closer relations with Ukraine.  The signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union was postponed on 19 December 2011, although it was concluded. According to a joint statement by Ukraine and the EU adopted at a summit between Ukraine and the EU, ratification of the treaty depended on Ukraine`s „respect for common values and the rule of law with an independent judicial system.“     The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Etefan Fole, said on 27 February 2012 that he hoped that the Association Agreement would be signed within a month and that he would „see“ it next autumn. He also drew attention to the „necessary measures in six key areas“ (essentially law reform and democratic freedoms).   On 29 February 2012, the European People`s Party called for the immediate release of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuri Lutsenko and other political prisoners and insisted that the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union be not signed and ratified until these requirements were met.   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.
It defines a new format of relations between Ukraine and the EU on the basis of „political association and economic integration“ and serves as a strategic guideline for systematic socio-economic reforms in Ukraine. On 29 July 2013, Russia banned the import of chocolate products from the Ukrainian company Roshen and asked Belarus and Kazakhstan to follow suit. A Russian health official said the company had failed to meet quality and safety standards, but critics said the ban was seen as a warning against closer cooperation between Ukraine and the EU.