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Green light for abolishing tariffs on some Ukrainian goods


20 Mar 2014


Europe's East
The European Parliament’s International Trade Committee today agreed to abolish or reduce trade tariff barriers on certain Ukrainian exports on agricultural, textile, iron and steel products. In the context of the difficult economic situation in Ukraine and the Russian embargo imposed on Ukrainian goods yesterday, the EU’s objective is to allow Ukrainian producers to benefit from preferential access to the EU market before the signature of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement.
“By adopting such measures, the Ukrainian economy will save up to around €500m this year. This way, we are putting words into actions and we are helping the Ukrainians”, said Paweł Zalewski, the Rapporteur, after the vote. “EU unilateral preferences will apply during 6 months until 1 November 2014 and their implementation will require Ukraine to adapt to the EU’s administrative requirements and principles”, he added.
Despite the support for the idea of reducing tariffs on Ukrainian goods expressed by a large majority of MEPs, the Socialists (S&D) attempted to introduce provisions relative to the respect of human rights in Ukraine. Their proposal was rejected, however, given that the political part of the Association Agreement, due to be signed this Friday, obliges the new Ukrainian Government to respect human rights. Only the GUE Group voted against the Report and objected to abolishing tariff barriers on Ukrainian goods.
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
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