There are hopes that the relatively free access of Ukrainian companies to the European market will be preserved

The EU’s abolition of duties on Ukrainian iron and steel products after Russia’s full-scale invasion opened up the European market for steel companies. This helped to maintain sales volumes and ensure the stability and efficiency of Ukrainian enterprises.

This was emphasized by Andriy Kryl, Metinvest’s Head of International Relations, at the Ukraine’s Future Summit.

«First of all, I would like to thank the Commission and the European Union for lifting the trade protection measures that were in place at the time of the Russian invasion, as this helped us maintain our volumes. And here I speak on behalf of all Ukrainian steel producers, because after these measures were lifted, the market opened up for us, and this helped ensure the stability and efficiency of our enterprises,» he said.

Andriy Kryl expressed hope that the relatively free access of Ukrainian companies to the European market will be maintained, as the steel sector has suffered the most from the war, with at least half of Ukraine’s steelmaking capacity lost.

«Every ton of products we can sell to the EU provides jobs and employment at strategically important enterprises. However, we see certain challenges in the future, as there is still a certain amount of Russian products on the EU market, and we believe that this is wrong and needs to be eliminated,» he added.

Andriy Kryl emphasized that soon a new obstacle for Ukrainian companies to operate in the European market will be the carbon tax (CBAM), which will be fully effective in 18 months. However, he expressed hope that thanks to the dialogue between the Ukrainian government and the European Commission, these obstacles could be overcome and trade flows would remain uninterrupted.

In his opinion, the Ukrainian and European steel sectors are currently facing the same challenges.

«We are talking about decarbonization, about the production of green steel, about changing the way the whole industry is organized, and we believe that joining forces, combining some projects and efforts between the Ukrainian and European sides can be useful, and Ukraine can help to decarbonize the European steel industry to some extent, because we have the largest reserves of iron ore in Europe, and these ores are suitable for a new way of production. Our energy mix, for various reasons, is greener than the average energy mix in the EU,» explained Andriy Kryl.

Summing up, he added that Ukraine is the right strategic partner for the EU when it comes to strategic autonomy and business reshoring.

The event was also attended by Taras Kachka, Trade Representative of Ukraine, Leon Delvaux, Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade, and Mykhailo Bno-Airiian, Chairman of the FEU Committee on European Integration.

Based on the results of the discussion, the participants made the following conclusions:

  • the work of Ukrainian business under the current terms of trade was actually a test for Ukraine on how to work in the European Union’s Single Market on the terms of an EU member state;
  • Autonomous trade preferences allowed to support the Ukrainian economy in the conditions of war and save jobs in Ukraine;
  • Sensitive goods have been clearly identified, and their access to the EU market will have a special track during the negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU;
  • Ukrainian business is already significantly integrated into the EU supply chain, and this has significant potential for further development;
  • trade policy should be as predictable as possible on both sides and should timely remove foreseeable obstacles to trade, such as the full application of the передбачувані in 2026.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Politico noted in its analytical article that Ukrainian steel companies need European buyers more than ever. The European CBA will cost millions in 2026 if no quick changes are made.