The temporary removal of duties is designed to help Ukraine help stabilise its economy

The temporary removal of duties is designed to help Ukraine help stabilise its economy

The European Commission has temporarily removed customs duties from Ukrainian exports to the European Union in a bid to help stabilise the troubled country’s economy.

The EC said it had decided on the move “following recent unprecedented events” in Ukraine, which has seen weeks of unrest and violence, a change of government, as well as Russian troops on the streets of Crimea.

The move by the EU is a temporary removal of duties to bridge the gap to a planned Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, which is expected to be signed by November.

That agreement is set to cover clothing among many other areas, with EU clothing imports into Ukraine also included in its terms.

The temporary removal of duties will benefit Ukraine to the tune of EUR500m a year, according to EC president José Manuel Barroso, who described it as “a concrete, tangible measure of EU support to Ukraine”.

The agreement will also include safeguards to prevent market-distorting surges impacting adversely on European countries, the Commission added.

“The European Commission is committed, and ready, to support Ukraine to stabilise its economic and financial situation,” Barroso said.