Some benefits are available immediately. Thanks to the agreement reached on 11 June, nearly 400,000 Ukrainians travelled to the EU Schengen area without a visa in 2017. Although less than one percent of Ukraine`s population, most of whom continue to live in poverty and cannot afford to travel, change has greater symbolic significance: a quarter of Ukrainians considered it the most important political event of 2017. Finally, and not least, the EU has 250 technical assistance projects, and Member States provide much more. There are now hundreds of advisers (international and local) working directly in state institutions, whether through reform support teams, the Strategic Advisory Group on Reforms (SAGSUR) or reform offices in the region to promote decentralization. While this fragmentes aid and makes coordination an increasingly important struggle, the EU also has unprecedented insight and influence. If Ukraine opted for the agreement, the customs union of the Eurasian Economic Commission of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia would withdraw from free trade agreements with the country, said Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev.  On 21 November 2013, a Ukrainian government decree suspended preparations for the signing of the agreement, which was to be signed at an EU summit in Vilnius from 28 to 29 November 2013, and it was not signed. [h]         The decision to organize the signing of the Association Agreement led to the Ukrainian revolution in 2014.   Efforts to restructure the Ukrainian economy have so far not been accompanied by aid to local industry, although this is common for candidate countries. While Ukrainian government investments have been under the pressure of austerity and have been hit by corruption, there is no appetite in the EU to provide this aid to Ukraine.
The rejection of the AA by the Dutch referendum in 2016 is partly due to signs that Ukraine, although the agreement does not include a prospect of accession, would infiltrate the EU, with de facto access to cohesion and regional funds. The conclusion of negotiations on the ENTRE association agreement between the EU and Ukraine 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. The agreement comes after more than two decades in which the two sides have sought closer relations. On the one hand, the European Union wants to ensure that its imports of cereals and natural gas from Ukraine and its merchandise exports to Ukraine are not threatened by instability in the region, believing that instability could ultimately be reduced by socio-political and economic reforms in Ukraine.  Ukraine, on the other hand, wants to increase its exports by taking advantage of free trade with the European Union, while attracting desirable external investment and strengthening ties with a socio-political unit with which many Ukrainians have a strong cultural link.