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Ukraine, Israel to ink FTA deal before yearend, says prime minister

The two countries have significantly increased trade over the past few months.

Prime ministers of Ukraine and Israel Volodymyr Groysman discussed ways to deepen bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries. "It is very important that over the past few months we have significantly increased the trade turnover and are persistently working actively to create the FTZ," Ukraine's Groysman, who is on visit to Israel, noted in his Twitter microblog.

"By the end of 2017, we expect to sign an agreement on a free trade zone," Groysman said.

An FTA between Ukraine and Israel has been discussed for years.

Israel's Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum said in 2013 that the Israeli side had completed its part of the work, but Ukraine has been dragging down signing of the treaty, since it deemed the Association with the European Union more important. Previous Ukrainian governments, therefore, failed to conclude FTA deals neither with Israel nor the EU.

In December 2015, Ukraine and Israel upon the visit of President Petro Poroshenko, agreed on the timing of the signing of the FTA agreement.

In January 2017, FTA talks resumed.