BRUSSELS (Alliance News) – Foreign Affairs ministers of the EU agreed at a meeting on Monday to grant Ukraine preferential trade terms from the end of September, for a period of three years.
“We are allowing more Ukrainian products to be exported to the EU,” said Sven Mikser, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the bloc.
“It is our duty to support Ukraine and strengthen our economic and political ties, also in the face of the ongoing conflict on its soil.”
Ukraine’s military has been battling Russia-aligned rebels near the Russian border for the past three years.
About 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which erupted when Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian president amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West.
The EU is removing import duties on several industrial products, such as fertilizers, dyes, pigments, footwear, copper, aluminium, as well as television and sound recording equipment.
In addition Ukraine can export a specified amount of agricultural products such as cereals, processed tomatoes, natural honey and grape juice to the bloc every year without being subjected to import duties.
The EU says today’s decision is aimed at improving access for Ukrainian exporters to the EU market, in view of the difficult economic situation and the economic reform efforts undertaken by Ukraine.