18:55 06.02.2017

Ukraine to ratify free trade deal with Canada in coming weeks

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada will ratify an agreement on a free trade area between Ukraine and Canada in the coming weeks, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv has said.

"We expect a Verkhovna Rada session in the coming weeks and the ratification of the free trade deal with Canada," he said at a round table meeting in parliament on Tuesday.

A corresponding bill on the ratification is ready now, he said.

Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada committee for foreign affairs Hanna Hopko in turn expressed hope that lawmakers will be able to ratify the deal as early as the next meeting this Wednesday.

"We hope very much there will be a positive signal, and we'll see in the session hall that there will be the political will for this [ratification]," she said.

Ukraine's Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko said during a skype conference that Canada in turn will be able to ratify the document on its part as early as in spring this year.

"We [in Canada] have every chance of finalizing the ratification procedures in spring 2017," he said.

Ukraine and Canada signed a free trade agreement on July 11, 2016, amid Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on November 17, 2016, tabled a bill in parliament to ratify the agreement, having designated it as a priority one.

Canada's House of Commons backed the ratification of the bilateral deal on December 14, 2016. Now it is the Canadian Senate that should decide on the ratification.

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