The European Union, keen to facilitate Ukraine’s move towards the West, has authorized another three years of tariff-free imports for agriculture and other products. The measure was seen as a reward for reforms already incorporated and as a carrot for Ukraine to do more.
The IMF has also been pushing Ukraine to institute pension, privatizations, and other changes to open up Ukraine’s economy and free it from the hold of corruption it has experienced since Soviet times.
“It is our duty to support Ukraine and strengthen our economic and political ties, also in the face of the ongoing conflict on its soil,” said Estonia Foreign Minster Sven Mikser, whose country holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, reported Reuters.
“By the end of September, Ukraine will be able to export greater tonnage of farm products, including grains, honey and processed tomatoes for three years. The EU will also remove for the same period import duties on fertilisers, dyes, footwear, copper, aluminum, televisions and sound recording equipment,” wrote Reuters.
The former Soviet republic is still in the grip of an oligarchy that controls most industry. The war in the east has also been a big drain on economic growth. Obtaining raw materials produced in Donbass has become impossible due to an enforced blockade on trade by Ukrainian veterans.