President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky plans to visit the Lithuanian capital in 2021 to participate in a conference on reforms in Ukraine, said Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine. “We hope that the conference will take place this year. The Ukrainian government and the President’s Office are already working on this. The head of state will be happy to come to Lithuania to discuss progress in Ukrainian reforms and support for Ukraine from European partners,” the President’s Office on Tuesday quoted Zhovkva as saying who gave an interview to the Lithuanian branch of the leading news agency in the Baltic region, Baltic News Service (BNS).
He also noted that currently “preparations are underway for the fourth conference on reforms in Ukraine, which was postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to Zhovkva, “over the past year and a half, Ukraine has shown significant progress in reforms, in particular, recently the President of the European Council Charles Michel noted the efforts of Volodymyr Zelensky in judicial and banking reforms, as well as in the agro-industrial sector.
“We count on a fair assessment of the process. And we count on help to Ukraine to continue this path of reforms,” Zhovkva stressed.
The Deputy Head of the President’s Office also focused on the process of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
He recalled that Ukraine received the status of a NATO partner with expanded capabilities and is raising the issue of providing an action plan for membership in the Alliance.
“We understand that we have to do our homework, including reforms in the security and military sector of Ukraine. We are working on this,” Zhovkva said.
He also assured that now work is underway to deepen Ukraine’s integration with the European Union.
“Much depends on Ukraine, but not everything. We will work on our ‘homework’, but we really count on the support of Brussels and the EU member states. And here, by the way, the role of Lithuania is very important, because I hope that Lithuania has unanimous support for Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO, “said the deputy head of the President’s Office.
He added that the Republic of Lithuania is not just a strategic partner for Ukraine, but a “strategic friend and brother”, and both countries have great potential for cooperation.
TK-Domashniy Tekstyl (TK-Home Textile), an operator in production and sale of home textiles in the structure of the trade and production group Textile-Contact, has signed the first significant contract for the supply of products to Lithuania for EUR 200,000, owner of Textile-Contact Oleksandr Sokolovsky said.
“The decrease in demand in the domestic market forces us to look for new sales channels for our products. Therefore, I am glad that TK-Domashniy Tekstyl has confidently started to enter the European market. If previously there were only small supplies to Poland and other countries, now the first serious contract has been signed with Lithuania,” Sokolovsky told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
He said that the first batch of mattresses, pillows and blankets has already been shipped for a large wholesale company from Lithuania, which works closely with both Lithuanian government agencies and leading hotels and restaurants. In the first half of 2021, it is planned to complete the entire delivery and conclude a new contract for a large amount.
Sokolovsky said that the implementation of such a contract became possible thanks to the receipt of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 European quality certificate by a textile factory in Chernihiv (TK-DT Chernihiv).
Oeko-Tex Standard is an international system for testing and certification of products made of textile materials, which sets restrictions on the use of certain chemicals, it is recognizable by the buyer and serves as an additional confirmation of the quality of products for manufacturers.
According to Sokolovsky, another factor that contributed to the conclusion of the contract was the receipt of the EUR1 certificate, confirming the Ukrainian origin of the goods and exempting the buyer from import duties.
Sokolovsky said that such a certificate can only be obtained if Ukrainian raw materials were used in the manufacture of products, which was fully consistent with Textile-Contact.
According to him, more than 50 jobs were involved in the implementation of the contract, and in total 430 people work at TK-Domashniy Tekstyl (including three production factories in Chernihiv, Kyiv and Odesa).
“TK-Domashniy Tekstyl company is actively negotiating to start cooperation with representatives of other European countries. The pilot delivery of textile products of its own production to Lithuania served as a serious impetus in this direction,” Sokolovsky said.
Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – the countries that founded the Lublin Triangle format – agreed to meet in Ukraine in the fall, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“We are already working on the content of our new partnership, making plans and believe that the Triangle should become an important element in the configuration of forces in Central Europe and in Europe as a whole. I can inform you that we have reached an agreement with my Polish and Lithuanian colleagues on that the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Lublin Triangle will be held in Ukraine this fall. We are committed to maintaining a dynamic dialogue and the dynamic development of our new format,” he said at an online briefing on Friday.Kuleba recalled that the Lublin Triangle is the first international format that Ukraine has been creating in its Western vector since independence, since 1991.
“Usually, when it comes to different European formats and structures, we join or seek to join the existing structures. Here we are already taking a leadership position and, together with partners, create new mechanisms that meet our regional and European interests,” the minister explained.As reported, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have established the Lublin Triangle format. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that that format would become an important element in strengthening Central Europe and Ukraine, as a full member of the European and Euro-Atlantic family of nations.
The volume of container transportation by Viking combined transport train in January 2020 increased 21% compared with January 2019, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has said in a statement. Ukraine and Lithuania are organizing container transportation by the Lithuania-Belarus-Ukraine Containerships train.
“Today, cooperation between Ukraine and Lithuania in the field of transport infrastructure is developing in an upward direction, including in the field of international freight transportation by rail. The Viking train and the Containerships Train are important international logistics projects, the successful implementation of which opens up prospects for attracting additional freight flows for both countries,” Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Krykliy said during a meeting in Poland at Europe of the Carpathians International Conference held on February 21-22.
The ministry said that Lithuania is a strategically important partner of Ukraine for updating the national infrastructure and realizing the transit potential in the Black Sea-Baltic Sea traffic.
Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Jaroslav Narkevič, in turn, noted the importance of further successful cooperation in the field of transport infrastructure for Ukrainian-Lithuanian economic relations and reiterated the desire to develop and deepen bilateral relations.
In addition, the ministers of both countries discussed the state and prospects of development of Ukrainian-Lithuanian cooperation in the field of infrastructure and joint participation in international logistics projects.
“The parties are determined in every way to help remove barriers in international road transport. At the first stage, the issue of exchanging multiple transit permission is being worked out,” the Ukrainian ministry said in the statement.
The Viking combined transport train route passes through Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania and connects the chain of container and piggyback lines in the Baltic region with a similar system of the Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. The total length of its route is 1,753 km.
Ukraine and Lithuania signed several documents, including a declaration on strategic partnership development for 2020-2024, following a session of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania chaired by Volodymyr Zelensky and Gitanas Nauseda. “This is a joint declaration on the development of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania, which contains the priorities of the bilateral dialogue for 2020-2024. Therefore, we can confidently say that the partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania will be even stronger,” Zelensky said at a meeting with the media on November 27.
The declaration will become a kind of road map for the development of Ukrainian-Lithuanian relations at the level of strategic partnership. Its provisions will form the basis of possible further steps by the countries in the context of cooperation on a range of issues of bilateral, regional and international agenda, reads a statement on the presidential website.
The joint statement also envisages a series of joint actions by Ukraine and Lithuania in international and regional security, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, economy, social policy, trade and investment development, scientific cooperation, cooperation in cultural and humanitarian fields.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva and Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Asta Skaisgiryte signed the Protocol of the Twelfth Session of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania, which reflects the main agreements reached during this event.
The Protocol also strongly condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including the temporary illegal occupation of Crimea and parts of Ukraine’s sovereign territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The document also notes the active cooperation of the two countries and the strong support for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations aimed to gain full membership in the EU and NATO.
Deputy Prime Minister, Digital Transformation Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov and Energy Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Zygimantas Vaiciunas signed a Declaration of Intent for Mutual Recognition of Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions between the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania. Among other things, the document contains an agreement on the parties’ intention to unite efforts to remove existing barriers to the cross-border use of trust services and cross-border e-contracts, e-bills and other similar solutions.
In addition, Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Zahorodniuk and Minister of National Defense of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis signed a Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Cyber Security between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania. The document provides for a series of measures aimed at developing cooperation in order to ensure appropriate response in the event of large-scale national or international cyber incidents. The parties also expressed their intention to establish common points of single contact for the exchange of information on cyber threats and attacks, and to develop a joint training plan.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expects growth in trade with Lithuania and encourages Lithuanian businesses to invest in Ukraine. “We expect that our bilateral trade in goods and services will exceed last year’s record and reach almost $1.5 billion,” he said at a briefing in Vilnius after a meeting with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. Zelensky noted that Lithuanian companies are not leaving the Ukrainian market, and they also continue to develop investment projects. As an example, he cited the opening of the second Lithuanian solar power station in Ivano-Frankivsk region on November 27.
Zelensky and Nauseda took part in the fifth Ukrainian-Lithuanian Economic Forum.
“We respect every investor who already works in our country. This applies to everyone, regardless of business: from restaurants to the green energy sector. We will not take rash steps that would worsen the business environment,” the president of Ukraine said, speaking at the forum.