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EU-Ukraine wartime trade: Overcoming difficulties, forging a European path

Svitlana Taran

Date: 21/08/2023
During the first year of Russia’s war in Ukraine, EU trade-liberalisation measures and EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes provided Ukraine with alternative export routes and allowed the country to reorient part of its exports to the EU market.

However, the insufficient logistics capacity and lack of adequate coordination and cooperation during the operation of Solidarity Lanes led to tensions between Ukraine and its Eastern European neighbours. While a compromise between the European Commission and the Eastern European countries allowed the extension of temporary trade-liberalisation measures for a further year, resolving the immediate crisis, more is needed to ensure their smooth operation.

This Discussion Paper provides recommendations on how the EU can further intensify efforts to facilitate Ukraine’s trade flows and prevent sudden trade disruptions and restrictions. These include:

  1. Enhance the strategic alignment and connectivity between Ukraine and the EU;
  2. Ensure security guarantees and increase the capacity of seaport corridors;
  3. Enhance coordination and unity between the Commission, EU member states and Ukraine;
  4. Avoid sudden and unjustified Solidarity Lanes' disruptions;  
  5. Protect critical port and export infrastructure from Russia’s attacks;
  6. Facilitate EU-Ukraine trade liberalisation and Ukraine’s integration into the EU Single Market. 

Read the full paper here.
Photo credits:
Anatolii Stepanov / AFP

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