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Poroshenko Says Ukraine Seeking Free Trade Deal With Israel

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kyiv expects to sign a free trade agreement with Israel within the next six months.

"I am interested in...concluding an agreement on a free trade area between Ukraine and Israel," Poroshenko told reporters in Jerusalem following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu December 22.

Poroshenko said trade turnover between the two countries amounts to $1 billion a year, and "we are interested in increasing it," particularly in the technology sector.

"Ukraine is interested in Israel's assistance in pursuing reforms in our country and in boosting economic cooperation," he said.

Ukraine has been scrambling to establish new trade partnerships as relations with Moscow, its biggest trading partner in the past, have soured and trade between the two ex-Soviet states has dropped.

Moscow last week cancelled its free-trade zone with Ukraine and banished Ukrainian food imports, among the latest tit-for-tat trade sanctions between the countries.

Ukraine will enter a free-trade agreement with the European Union next year and it announced a free-trade deal with Canada earlier this year.

Based on reporting by Kyiv Post, Financial Times, and Interfax

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