Ukraine is set to join Europe's open skies by year-end.
Philippe Burghelle-Vernet - a "head of unit" within the European Commission's mobility and transport directorate, and a member of its air service bilateral negotiating team - says he expects the country to join the European Common Aviation Area in 2013, after a meeting last week ironed out key concerns from the Ukrainian side.
There is now an understanding that the Ukraine will be able to retain its own aircraft certification authority alongside the European Aviation Safety Agency. Additionally, domestic routes will not be deregulated.
"We have made good progress and I hope we can finalise the agreement by the end of the year," says Burghelle-Vernet.
The European Common Aviation Area allows for unrestricted air services between its members, and pledges them to adhere to European standards of aviation safety and security. Moldova, Morocco and Israel are recent joiners.