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Ukraine, Canada Ink Free Trade Agreement

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a free trade agreement with Ukraine July 14 as its Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited the French province of Quebec.

With more than a million inhabitants claiming roots in Ukraine, Canada has made multiple supportive moves toward Kyiv since the 2014 revolution and Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

The agreement, which must be ratified by both nations' parliaments, is expected to increase Canadian growth by $22.9 million and Ukrainian growth by $18.6 million, the Canadian government estimated.

Harper called the agreement a "milestone in the important relationship between our two countries."

Yatsenyuk called Canada a "flagship in supporting Ukraine in our quest and fight against the Russian-led terrorists."

Canada will eliminate tariffs on 99 percent of imports from Ukraine and increase exports to Ukraine by $41.2 million.

Meanwhile, financially troubled Ukraine will reduce tariffs on 86 percent of Canadian imports and increase exports to Canada by $23.7 million, mainly in the textile and metalworking industries.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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