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UK and Ukraine committed to a more ambitious relationship


Ukraine and the UK signed in London two important documents. The first one is the “Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement” that will replace the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement after Brexit. Second is the “Memorandum of Intent”, to secure 1.25 billion pounds to build new military vessels for the Ukrainian Navy in British and Ukrainian shipyards.


On the 8th of October, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed an agreement with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to strengthen the political and trade ties between the two countries.

Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Zelenskyy have signed the “Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement” to strengthen UK cooperation in political, security and foreign matters with Ukraine, while also securing continued preferential trade for businesses and consumers.

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 of goods, services and public procurement, that businesses currently enjoy under the existing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

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.

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.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Trade between the UK and Ukraine was worth £1.5 billion in 2019. Top UK goods exports to Ukraine were aircraft (£79m), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£61m) and cars (£52m). The UK imported £177 million of cereals and £182 million of iron and steel in 2019.

Free trade is an incredibly powerful agent of economic growth, opportunity and human progress. This agreement enables our two countries to continue working closely together, both on a political level and in the field of commerce. Thanks to this deal, the aircraft, automotive and pharmaceutical industries can continue to thrive and support jobs in Ukraine and across the UK.

International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss

The Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena, also signed an MOU with the Ukrainian government that will identify sectors that could benefit from UK Export Finance support (up to £2.5bn) and help increase trade between the two countries. The priority sectors highlighted are defence; agriculture; infrastructure; energy; and healthcare.

Considerable notes:

  • This is the first comprehensive strategic and trade agreement signed by the UK since the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
  • The agreement provides for broad cooperation in a number of areas, including commitments to cooperate on peaceful conflict resolution, defence and security, climate change, human rights and people-to-people links.
  • Britain has been “a staunch defender of Ukraine’s right to self-determination”. British troops had trained more than 18,000 members of Ukraine’s armed forces since 2015.
  • This agreement is designed to take effect when the EU-Ukraine agreement ceases to apply to the UK at the end of the transition period. The agreement will be subject to the domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Ukraine before it is brought into force.

Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom