EU suspends import duties on war ravaged Ukraine

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EU ministers on Tuesday agreed to suspend import duties on all products from Ukraine in a bid to help the country’s battered economy survive Russia’s military assault.

EU executive vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said the suspension was a temporary measure that “will make it easier for Ukraine to continue trading in the face of Russia’s aggression and will provide overall support to the Ukrainian economy.”

Bilateral trade between the EU and Ukraine, an agricultural export powerhouse, accounted for 52 billion euros ($56 billion) of trade last year, according to the EU executive.

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The figure has doubled since 2016, but since the outbreak of the war in late February Ukraine’s agricultural and industrial production has been hit hard, with the country’s access to the sea blocked by the Russian navy.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that Moscow’s onslaught will cause Ukraine’s economy to collapse by 35 percent this year.

Already approved by the European Parliament, the regulation will enter into force the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU, a statement said.

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