Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the parliaments of all European Union member states have completed the process of ratifying the bloc's Association Agreement with Ukraine.
Poroshenko tweeted that, with the agreement's ratification by the Brussels regional parliament and a Belgian language commission on November 20, all 28 member states have now approved Ukraine's pact with the European Union.
He said in a second tweet that "[The] EU just informed us that all is ready to launch a free trade zone with Ukraine as of Jan. 1, 2016."
The EU is already Ukraine's biggest trading partner, with Kyiv conducting more than one-third of its trade with EU members.
Ukraine signed the political portion of the Association Agreement with Brussels in March 2014, and the economic section three months later.
In September 2014, the establishment of a Ukrainian-EU free-trade zone was postponed until December 31, 2015 after complaints from Russia.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said during a visit to Kyiv last week that the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement will "send a powerful signal that the regulatory environment in Ukraine is modern and efficient."
The EU will gradually lift tariffs and other trade barriers as Ukraine meets conditions set forth in the DCFTA.
Based on reporting by TASS and bbc.com