London, Oct 9 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signed an agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to strengthen the political and trade ties between the two countries, a government statement said.
The two leaders on Thursday signed the deal titled, ‘Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement’, to strengthen the UK’s cooperation in political, security and foreign matters with Ukraine, while also securing continued preferential trade for businesses and consumers, the statement said.
This agreement, when brought into force, will allow businesses to continue trading as they do now after the end of the transition period.
It delivers the same level of liberalisation in trade, services and public procurement that businesses currently enjoy under the existing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
The deal also underlines the UK’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as both countries’ commitment to strengthening democracy and human rights and deepening the security relationship.
“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,” Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement”
“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,” he added.
Trade between the UK and Ukraine was worth 1.5 billion pounds in 2019.
Top UK goods exports to Ukraine were aircraft, medicinal and pharmaceutical products and cars.
The UK imported 177 million pounds of cereals and 182 million pounds of iron and steel lat year.
This is the first comprehensive strategic and trade agreement signed by the UK since the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).