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 not met quality and safety standards, but critics said the ban was meant to warn of a closer link between Ukraine and the EU. At the time, Roshen`s owner (and future president of Ukraine), Petro Poroshenko, was considered pro-European.  On August 14, 2013, agents of the Russian Federal Customs Service began conducting more rigorous inspections of cargo from Ukraine than was normally the case.  This lasted until August 27, 2013, and statements by the Russian President`s Chief Economic Adviser, Sergei Verrev, claimed that the effect of Russia`s reaction to Ukraine`s signing of the agreement, including tariffs and trade controls, could lead to insolvency, a decline in living standards, and “political and social unrest” in Ukraine. and would be contrary to the Russian-Ukrainian Strategic Partnership and Friendship Treaty. The conclusion of the negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was announced at the EU-Ukraine Summit on 19 December 2011. This agreement is more important than similar agreements between the EU and other Central and Eastern European countries. On 19 September 2013, President Putin declared that Russia would impose “protectionist measures” on Ukraine once the Association Agreement with the EU was implemented.
 The next day, Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma (Russia`s main parliament), declared that Ukraine was becoming a “semi-colonial dependency” on the EU.  On October 8, 2013, President Putin said that the free trade agreement “could create some problems for trade and cooperation. Some damage may be done to the economic sector, but we will not have any problems in the political sphere, I am sure.  As uncertain as the future membership of the currently recognized group of small candidate states in the Western Balkans is, it is more complicated for a very large poor non-candidate country like Ukraine. Public opinion data show that European respondents are more likely to support the accession of a smaller and more prosperous country like Iceland than to the accession of poorer countries (Iceland`s GDP per capita exceeds that of the EU). Similarly, the settlement of disputes over the opening of borders is a prerequisite for EU membership. It is unclear how long Ukraine`s borders will remain unstable, given that secessionist claims are simmering in eastern Ukraine and uncertainty persists about the status of Crimea. .