UK-Ukraine strategic dialogue: joint communique
8 December 2021
The UK's partnership with Ukraine has developed over thirty years, built on a shared commitment to democratic principles, human rights and equality; to international peace and security; to promoting the benefits of trade liberalisation and investment under the global rules-based trading system; and to the principle that nations must be free to choose their own path to develop and prosper.
The UK-Ukraine Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by Prime Minister Johnson and President Zelenskyy on 8 October 2020, reflects the breadth and depth of our relations.
At the initial Strategic Dialogue meeting on 8 December, Foreign Secretary Truss and Foreign Minister Kuleba discussed ways to build stronger trade links and strengthen cooperation for 2022 and beyond, at all levels, including contacts at the highest level.
The UK reaffirms our unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic path. Ukraine reaffirms, with UK support, its commitment to implementing comprehensive internal reforms, which will build resilience, attract foreign investment and strengthen prosperity. The UK commends Ukraine's restraint in the face of ongoing Russian aggression. We underscore that support for Ukraine as an independent state cannot be considered adversarial to Russia, nor an attempt to encircle or undermine it. We call on Russia to de-escalate and abide by its international commitments and engage fully in the Normandy format, aimed at securing a lasting political solution to the conflict. We underline our continued support for the mediation efforts of France and Germany in this regard.
Recognising the already close cooperation between our countries within international organisations the UK and Ukraine intend to strengthen foreign policy coordination and work more closely together on the international stage.
Trade is the key to unlocking our potential through new opportunities for investment and job creation in Ukraine and across the UK. The UK Government has increased the amount of support available through UK Export Finance to support projects in Ukraine to Â£3.5 billion. This increase in finance capacity for Ukraine will enable UKEF to help British exporters trade in its priority sectors such as healthcare, civilian infrastructure and clean energy.
Our first UK-Ukraine Commercial Dialogue will be held in 2022, providing a bilateral platform to expand and enhance our trade relationship in key sectors including agriculture, food and drink, clean growth, including hydrogen, digital and ICT. It will provide a new dedicated forum to discuss ways to improve the business environment and remove market access barriers to bilateral trade.
2. Reforms to support trade
Recognising Ukraine's progress and ambition to continue to strengthen economic governance, we agreed to develop a new UK-Ukraine Economic Compact, to encourage international business and investment, and strengthen Ukraine's economic and social resilience. We will explore closer government co-operation on IT and digitalisation and implement further measures to strengthen protections and transparency for investors in Ukraine.
Recognising Ukraine's progress in implementing democratic reforms, we reaffirm our joint commitment to delivering crucial reforms to the judicial sector and to continuing to develop Ukraine's anti-corruption strategy.
3. Climate change and energy security
Support for upgrading Ukraine's nuclear sector is a win-win area, where the UK can offer world-class expertise. UK exporters are also supplying Ukraine with nuclear fuel services - for Ukraine, this represents a unique opportunity to reduce its dependency on Russian nuclear fuel imports. The UK is committed to shoring up Ukraine's energy security, in particular through developing its renewables and advancing clean energy technologies. We will continue to explore scope to provide targeted support, building on previous work, which has so far included sharing experience of developing hydrogen strategies.
We are opposed to NS2 and concerned by its implications for the interests of Ukraine and for European energy security. We will continue to raise concerns with partners. The UK recently committed Â£150 million to the Climate Investment Funds' (CIFs) Renewable Energy Integration (REI) programme. Ukraine has been selected to receive up to $70 million from the REI Fund to develop its Country Investment Plan, which will identify potential projects that could support Ukraine in raising its ambition on its clean energy transition. The revised plan and potential projects could leverage hundreds of millions more in co-investments from public and private sources.
4. Defence and security
The UK and Ukraine will work together to strengthen Ukraine's security. We reaffirm our close defence relations, particularly in the context of the continuing pattern of increasing Russian military activity on Ukraine's borders. Our strong defence cooperation focusses on building Ukraine's resilience, including through Operation Orbital, the UK-led Maritime Training Initiative and joint exercises. Recently, the UK and Ukraine signed a bilateral Treaty, which releases Â£1.7bn of financing in support of the Ukrainian Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme. We will explore the potential for additional UK support to Ukraine on implementing defence reforms and maximising the benefits of its NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status.
We will explore opportunities for closer collaboration to counter common threats: from foreign malign activities, hybrid threats, international terrorism and extremism to serious organised crime. We will explore cooperation on border security and protection of critical national infrastructure. The UK will support Ukraine to fully implement the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. We will establish cooperation to facilitate movement of persons and, when conditions are appropriate, take gradual steps towards easing processes for travel between our countries.
The UK and Ukraine will work together to support resilient and sustainable security and law-enforcement sector of Ukraine. The UK will support Ukraine in developing its capabilities in security and law-enforcement.
5. Conflict and stabilisation
The UK and Ukraine will work to enhance Ukraine's resilience in response to the ongoing Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. The UK-led, multi-donor Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine will help prepare for the eventual re-integration of non-government controlled Ukrainian territory, when the situation allows. We will establish a working level dialogue between conflict experts. The UK will continue to share expertise on conflict and transitional justice issues.
The UK fully supports the aims of the Joint Declaration for the International Crimea Platform, which we joined in August 2021. The UK will work closely with Ukraine and other international partners within the Platform on its five priority tracks, including support for the annual Black Sea Security Conference to be launched in 2022. We are working to advance the sustainable social and economic development of Ukrainian regions closest to illegally-annexed Crimea. The UK and Ukraine will coordinate our efforts to raise the issue of Crimea, improve the human rights situation there and ensure that Russia is held to account for its actions.
The UK and Ukraine will strengthen co-operation to tackle the shared threat from disinformation; ensuring Ukraine's cross-government co-ordination mechanisms on countering disinformation and improving media literacy are sufficiently resourced and sustainable.
6. Culture and people-to-people links
The UK and Ukraine will hold the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture 2022, marking thirty years of diplomatic relations and recognising the opportunities for more creative partnerships. The Season of Culture will bring the UK and Ukraine an engaging programme of theatre, visual arts, publishing, music and film. Throughout the Season, we will come together to share experience, learn more about each other, and build new and lasting connections in arts and culture.
The UK and Ukraine will continue to work together to build closer links in Higher Education. The UK will support reform of English language teaching in Ukraine's education system, including the New Ukrainian School reform. The new Future English programme will provide research, consultancy and continuing professional development to the Ministry of Education and Science, and a new Online Teacher Community to provide opportunities for up to 25,000 teachers throughout Ukraine over the next three years.
Signed on 8 December 2021 at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, London, United Kingdom.
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