MEPs have voted to give Ukraine temporary autonomous trade preferences to the EU market, as a transitional measure until an Association Agreement can be signed following the Ukrainian presidential elections in May.
The proposal will reduce or remove entirely, depending on the sector, EU customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine. This will amount to an annual tariff reduction of around €500 million.
The trade preferences can be withdrawn unilaterally if there are deteriorations in the rule of law or the human rights situation in Ukraine.
Liberal Democrat MEP and foreign affairs spokesperson in the European Parliament Graham Watson commented:
“The economic situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating and so it is vital that the EU acts quickly to come to its aid.
“Fast-tracking trade preferences are an important first step that will give a boost to the Ukrainian economy and a strong signal of support to its people.
“Nigel Farage may be content being Putin’s poodle, but Liberal Democrats are clear that working together with others in Europe means we can have far greater clout on the world stage.”