During the first telephone conversation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau agreed to begin negotiations in the near future on expanding the provisions of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Ukraine and Canada in the sphere of services and investments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported.
“The ministers discussed the intensification of interaction between Ukraine and Canada in the political, security, defense, trade, investment and migration spheres,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
Kuleba also expressed gratitude for the work of the Canadian UNIFIER training mission in Ukraine. “Canada, with actions, not just words helps strengthen the security and defense sector of Ukraine. The Canadian instructors of the UNIFIER mission share important experiences and practices for transforming our armed forces in accordance with NATO standards. This is an example of cooperation between close partners,” the press service of the foreign policy department quoted the minister as saying.
The ministers welcomed the launch of the Ukrainian-Canadian working group on mobility issues to strengthen interpersonal ties. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister proposed to hold its first meeting next month and confirmed the interest of the Ukrainian side in concluding a bilateral agreement on youth exchanges.
“Kuleba informed the interlocutor about the priorities of the Crimean platform as a platform for consolidating international efforts to de-occupy Crimea and invited the Canadian side to take part in its inaugural summit this year. Garneau assured that Canada will continue to steadily support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported.
The ministers paid special attention to the topic of countering the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination of the population.
In addition, Kuleba and Garneau stressed the importance of coordinating further actions and forming common positions in preparation for the next stage of negotiations with Iran to bring to justice those responsible for the downing of Flight PS752 and to achieve justice for the victims of the tragedy and their families.
Finally, the interlocutors confirmed a mutual invitation to carry out working visits after the normalization of the epidemic situation.
In 2021, Canada and Ukraine will modernize the free trade agreement (FTA), Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Larisa Galadza said.
“This year will be important because its [the agreement] modernization, including services, is envisaged. Therefore, I look forward to working in this direction,” Galadza said at an online discussion at Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.
She said that Ukraine needs to continue to work towards reforming the justice system.
“This is extremely important for Ukrainian citizens and also for bilateral relations, if we want to strengthen them, especially trade relations,” Galadza said.
The ambassador also expressed her hope that in 2021 there will be an opportunity to simplify the process of travel between Canada and Ukraine. “Connections between people are exactly what shapes our bilateral relations. I mean those people who travel from Ukraine to Canada and vice versa. I think that over the next year we will have opportunities to simplify this process, clarify, something like a normal life after a year that has passed,” she said.
In addition, the diplomat said that on January 1, an agreement between Canada and Ukraine on the joint production of audiovisual products comes into force.
Galadza said that another area of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Canada is the continuation of work towards ensuring fairness, accountability, transparency regarding the shooting down of UIA flight by Iran.
“We must ensure justice, transparency for families, and we will continue to work together to make the skies safer for all people who fly and, unfortunately, who have to travel to conflict areas,” she said.
The ambassador said that Canada will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine.
“Ukraine can certainly rely on the fact that Canada will invariably and uncompromisingly support territorial integrity, not only through tactical exercises that we organize for the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they prepare to be deployed in Donbas, but also in the format of multilateral forums and initiatives, like the Crimean platform,” the diplomat said.
She said Canada will also continue to accompany Ukraine on the path of reforms.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukraine is awaiting ratification of the free trade agreement (FTA) by the new Knesset after the elections on September 17. “We expect the ratification of the free trade agreement by the new Knesset after the September 17 elections. This will allow increasing the volume of trade between our countries,” Zelensky wrote on his Facebook page on Monday evening following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The president also noted that Ukraine and Israel had signed four important documents that will expand contacts between the countries in education, culture and sports. In addition, close cooperation in the agricultural sector is expected.
“I invited Israeli companies to come to work in Ukraine: to build roads and infrastructure, invest in medicine, education, energy saving and, of course, in IT. In the next five years we will grow rapidly, so Ukraine today is the most attractive place for strategic investors,” Zelensky said.
Ukraine’s parliament, has ratified the international agreement on free trade between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Israel.
Some 230 lawmakers voted for corresponding bill No. 0223 at a plenary session of parliament on Thursday.