LONDON, Oct 8 – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday signed an agreement to strengthen political and trade ties between the two countries that will boost cooperation between the two countries.
The agreement provides for broad cooperation in a number of areas, including commitments to cooperate on peaceful conflict resolution, defense and security, climate change, human rights and people-to-people links.
“The UK is Ukraine’s most fervent supporter,” Johnson said after signing the agreement. “Whether it’s our defense support, stabilization 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 signed 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,” Johnson said.
Trade between the UK and Ukraine was worth £1.5 billion in 2019, according to the U.K. government statistics. Top UK goods exports to Ukraine were aircraft (£79m), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£61m) and cars (£52m). The UK imported £177 million of cereals and £182 million of iron and steel in 2019.
This agreement is designed to take effect when the EU-Ukraine agreement ceases to apply to the UK at the end of the transition period. The agreement will be subject to the domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Ukraine before it is brought into force.
Zelenskiy said Ukraine will be able to boost agriculture exports to the U.K. that along with other measures will help to accelerate economic growth.
"Ukraine is known as one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products in the world. The UK will be able to buy high quality agricultural products at attractive prices in Ukraine," Zelenskiy said.
The U.K. Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena, said that both economies will benefit from UK Export Finance (UKEF) support and help increase trade between the two countries, including in defense; agriculture; infrastructure; energy; and healthcare.
This comes as UKEF resumes cover for British exports to Ukraine and can now provide up to £2.5 billion of support in order to stimulate UK exports to the country. (tl/ex)