The Prime Minister met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Downing Street this morning ahead of signing the UK-Ukraine Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement.
The leaders welcomed the new Agreement, which lays the foundation for an intensified bilateral relationship in areas including trade, defence and political cooperation.
On trade, the Prime Minister and President expressed their shared wish to increase trade and investment between the UK and Ukraine. The Prime Minister stressed that reform and rule of law drive economic growth, and reiterated the UK’s commitment to Ukraine’s reform programme.
On defence, the Prime Minister welcomed NATO’s recent decision to grant Ukraine Enhanced Opportunities Partner status. He offered the UK’s support to Ukraine as they make progress on defence and security reforms.
The two leaders discussed the importance of working together to counter Russia’s malign influence, both in Ukraine and in the wider region. They also expressed their shared concern about the situation in Belarus. The Prime Minister outlined the steps the UK has taken in response to human rights abuses in the country, including the imposition of sanctions.
The Prime Minister and President resolved to cooperate closely on the response to coronavirus. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the COVAX scheme as a way to pool global efforts to develop a vaccine, and encouraged Ukraine to join. They also agreed to work together to tackle the shared threat from climate change, particularly ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.