UK reaffirms commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty

Britian's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Downing Street, London, Octber 8, 2020. (AP Photo)

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav UK reaffirms commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty

LONDON, England – The relationship between the UK and Ukraine will be intensified following a new political, trade and strategic partnership agreement, signed Thursday, in Downing Street by the prime minister and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

President Zelenskyy is on a two-day visit to the UK which has included a tour of the Prince of Wales Carrier in Portsmouth and discussions on trade, defence and regional security.

The agreement paves the way for stronger cooperation between the UK and Ukraine. The UK has been a staunch defender of Ukraine’s right to self-determination, particularly since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

Under the MoD’s Operation Orbital, established in 2015, British troops have trained over 18,000 members of Ukraine’s armed forces and the UK will soon lead a multi-national Maritime Training Initiative for the Ukrainian Navy.

This year, the UK has allocated over £40m in funding to Ukraine, including a significant increase in our stabilisation support and £5 million in humanitarian aid. This assistance is going towards those communities facing Russian intimidation in both government and non-government-controlled areas, and helping Ukraine achieve a more stable and prosperous future. The funding goes hand in hand with the political support the UK has given to president Zelenskyy’s efforts to achieve peace in the Donbas.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement builds on the current UK-Ukraine relationship in areas including trade, defence and political cooperation. It formalises the UK’s ongoing commitment to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK is Ukraine’s most fervent supporter. Whether it’s our defence support, stabilisation efforts, humanitarian assistance or close cooperation on political issues, our message is clear: we are utterly committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“The Strategic Partnership Agreement we are signing [today] signals the next chapter in our relationship. It’s a chapter that will bring increased security and prosperity for both the people of the UK and Ukraine.”

The UK-Ukraine Agreement includes a comprehensive preferential free trade agreement covering goods, services, and tariffs and quotas. This rolls over and builds upon the provisions of the current EU-Ukraine Agreement, to ensure that trade between the UK and Ukraine continues smoothly at the end of the transition period.

Trade between the UK and Ukraine is already worth £1.5 billion per year. This week the prime minister appointed Baroness Meyer as the first Trade Envoy to Ukraine to enhance this relationship.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement also details commitments to cooperate on peaceful conflict resolution, defence and security, climate change and human rights.


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