12:39 GMT19 January 2021
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    Ukraine’s pro-European course is "irreversible" as the first positive signals appear from its free trade zone agreement, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Saturday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) –The president estimated 16 percent year-on-year growth of Ukrainian food exports to the European Union, and 22 percent growth of new technology imports, last month.

    "This unique international legal instrument ensures the irreversibility of our strategic course toward Europe," Poroshenko said on the two-year anniversary of anti-government protests that led to the signing of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

    "In addition, we will gradually compensate losses caused by the economic aggression by Russia, because Russia has not only closed its market, but also blocked the transit of Ukrainian goods to third countries," Poroshenko stressed.

    Russia suspended its Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) free trade deal with Ukraine as of January 1, 2016, the same day the EU-Ukraine deep and comprehensive free trade zone – part of the Association Agreement ratified last year – came to effect.

    The measures include an embargo on the import of certain Ukrainian food products and customs duties imposed on other Ukrainian goods.

    The Netherlands is the only EU country that has not yet ratified the Ukraine-EU association deal.


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