"First of all, this agreement is a good treaty on customs duties, but, of course, it goes far beyond that. It sends a powerful signal to both the people of Ukraine and Russia," he told the CBC television channel, when asked if free trade with Ukraine was a sign of solidarity on the part of Canada.
He said that relations between Canada and Ukraine have already reached a "mature" stage.
"We are witnessing a very mature and pragmatic partnership between our countries in the field of defense, trade and in terms of promoting other important issues for Canada such as environmental standards, labor rights, and free trade. Ukraine believes in these things, as your country does," the ambassador said.
The free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine came into force on August 1. Canada immediately lifted 98% of customs duties on Ukrainian goods to be sold to Canada. Ukraine cancels 72% of duties on Canadian goods, and in the next seven years duty free exports will grow to 98%. The agreement also mutually opens up public procurement markets. Certain sections of the document protect e-commerce and intellectual property.
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