25 May 2023 15:21

Council of EU extends temporary trade liberalization with Ukraine

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW. May 25 (Interfax) - The Council of the European Union has decided to extend temporary trade liberalization with Ukraine and other trade concessions applicable to Ukrainian products for another year.

"The Council adopted today a Regulation which renews the suspension of all customs duties, quotas and trade defense measures on Ukrainian exports to the EU for another year, until June 2024," the Council said in a press release published in Brussels on Thursday.

"The renewed Autonomous Trade Measures will unequivocally support Ukraine and at the same time they provide the EU with a way of protecting if necessary the internal market from significant increase in imports of some agricultural products," Johan Forssell, international development cooperation and foreign trade minister of Sweden, which is currently holding Council presidency, said when commenting on the decision.

Brussels said it expects these measures should help Ukraine maintain stability of its trade relations with the EU and preserve its economy under challenging circumstances. "Coupled with extensive military, financial and humanitarian support, this is crucial to help Ukraine in its long-term recovery," it said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky welcomed the Council of the EU's decision to extend trade liberalization with Ukraine.

"I welcome today's decision of the EU Council to extend temporary trade liberalization for Ukrainian products for another year. The full abolition of duties and quotas has been extended until June 2024. As we move towards the EU, this temporary liberalization should become permanent - without any exceptions or restrictions. I am grateful to all EU members for their support, which brings us closer to the EU accession," Ukrainian media said quoting Zelensky's social media post.

Prime Minister Denis Shmygal also welcomed the Council of the EU's decision in his social account.

"The Council of the EU today extended the 'economic visa-free arrangement' with Ukraine for another year. This means Ukrainian businesses won't pay any duties, quotas, or tariffs while exporting goods to the EU at least until June 2024," Ukrainian media reported with reference to Shmygal's post.

He thanked European partners for the decision supporting the Ukrainian economy and business community.

The European Commission proposed extending temporary trade liberalization supplementing trade concessions applicable to Ukrainian products on February 23, 2023. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position by taking over the Commission's proposal without any amendments on May 9. After the regulation is signed by the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament, it will be published in the Official Journal and enter into force on 6 June.