The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed an European Union (EU) decision to cut customs duties on imports from Ukraine. "The EU in practice demonstrates solidarity with Ukraine, making a real step to stimulate the growth of the Ukrainian economy and bilateral trade," said a statement posted on the ministry's website. According to the statement, Ukraine's potential savings and gains from the trade preference measure could reach 487 million euros (670 million U.S. dollars). Earlier in the day, the European Parliament backed a proposal to abolish about 98 percent of customs duties on iron, steel, machinery and some farm goods imported from Ukraine. The EU's unilateral trade measure, aimed at helping Ukraine's struggling economy to stay afloat, is set to take effect in May and will apply until November. On March 21, Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the EU leaders signed the political chapter of the landmark association agreement, which is expected to enhance the ties between the two sides. Kiev and Brussels are due to sign the economic part of the agreement after presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled on May 25.