Volodymyr Zelenskyy: A historic day for Ukraine and the UK

Boris Johnson welcomes Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to Downing Street

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: A historic day for Ukraine and the UK

Credit funds from the UK in Ukraine intend to invest in security and defense, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, healthcare

KIEV – Ukraine is ready to raise up to 2.5 billion pounds for trade contracts with the UK. This is stated in a message on the website of the President of Ukraine following his official visit to the UK on October 7-8..

“We brought in two and a half billion pounds sterling from the UK. This is a new page of Ukrainian-British cooperation and an unprecedented event for Ukraine “, – stressed Vladimir Zelensky.

In accordance with the Memorandum, which was signed in London, UK Export Finance (UKEF) is resuming operations in the Ukrainian market to support British exports. UKEF will be able to provide loan guarantees of up to £ 2.5 billion for British-Ukrainian trade contracts, according to the website of the President of Ukraine.

UKEF loan guarantees will be able to attract specific industries identified in the Memorandum of Understanding between Her British Majesty’s Secretary of State, acting through the Department of Export Credit Assurance, which functions under the name UK Export Finance, and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, represented by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine.

“These funds can be used to implement investment projects in such priority areas as security and defense, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and healthcare. But we are not limited only to them, ”added President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

In the reference materials on the Ukrainian leader’s website, it is noted that UKEF supports the export of all types of goods and services from the UK and can help enterprises of all sizes to successfully fulfill an export contract. Loans will be issued for ten years at a very attractive rate – 2.5% in euros and 3.5% in pounds sterling.

“The decision to attract UK Export Finance to the Ukrainian market and the signing of this Memorandum is a sign of trust and support from the UK for the transformational changes that are now taking place in Ukraine. I am convinced that this will open up new opportunities for partnership between the economies of our countries, in particular in the areas of defense and security, renewable energy sources and transport infrastructure, ”the Minister of Finance said. Sergey Marchenko.

Defense Memorandum

During the official visit of the President of Ukraine to the UK on October 7-8, a Memorandum was signed on strengthening cooperation between Ukraine and the United Kingdom, and a number of meetings were held..

The memorandum provides for cooperation in the defense industry. It provides for the attraction of financing from the British Export Credit Agency in the amount of 1.25 billion pounds.

“This should significantly increase the efficiency and shorten the time frame for the implementation of joint projects in the defense sector, which is critically important in the context of the continuing aggravation of the situation in the Black Sea region,” the statement on the website of the President of Ukraine says..

Political Cooperation Agreement

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson signed the Agreement on Political Cooperation, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership between Ukraine and the United Kingdom in London on October 8.

The website of the President of Ukraine emphasizes that “the consolidation of the general political principles of bilateral cooperation and partnership in the new Agreement is of great strategic and practical importance.”.

“Today is a historic day for Ukraine and the UK: we are starting a new stage of strategic partnership between our countries,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Agreement is necessary, services are expensive?

Political scientist Taras Chornovil believes that the official visit of the Ukrainian delegation to London against the background of a similar visit to Brussels “can be considered quite successful”.

“In London, the main point was signed – the really necessary documents: the Agreement with Great Britain. It was considered for a long time, but the relevance of the signing did not fit. At the time when we had an Association Agreement with the European Union, Britain was a member of the EU, and the current document covered our basic mutual needs with London, “Taras Chornovil tells the Voice of America correspondent.

The political scientist believes that Ukraine has retained its main positions in the signed Agreement.

“As for other events of this visit, there is more talk about them than the real result. I don’t understand why talk about the fact that we brought in 2.5 billion pounds sterling, if this is more a protocol of intent. A protocol with a financial state structure, which is a guarantor and gives state guarantees when making investments in the economies of other countries. This is an expensive service that has its consequences – if we do not provide appropriate service for foreign investments, this company, as a state, will be able to knock out everything that is necessary from Ukraine, “Taras Chornovil emphasizes..

He also believes that the memorandum signed in London on October 7, providing for the possibility of crediting programs, including for the development of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, “is unlikely to give its fill.”.

“This is a very dubious protocol about the intentions to build military boats by the British. The price factor is important for us. British equipment is expensive for Ukraine, European and American ones are much cheaper. In addition, Ukraine produces boats of a similar class – whether it is necessary to take out loans for boats in such a situation is a question, ”says Taras Chornovil.

Context of President Zelenskiy’s visits

According to the political scientist Alexey Yakubin, the visits of the Ukrainian leader to Brussels and London demonstrate an interesting combination in the international arena and certain steps of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Zelenskiy went to London after the European Union, to a country that is in the process of leaving the EU. In the British capital, he spoke about the fact that we share common values, while Britain is leaving the European Union. This contradicts the general European integration canvas a little, but for Volodymyr Zelensky this is an important visit. He is the president, who is trying to emphasize in the international arena that the British direction is involved, and London plays its role in Ukraine’s foreign policy, “- says Alexey Yakubin to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..

At the same time, he believes that the visit of the Ukrainian leader is also important for London, since it creates competition with the actions of the European Union for Ukraine..

Oleksiy Yakubin notes that the statement of the Ukrainian side about the loan agreements with London is hardly a victory.

“This is a loan. Britain to a large extent solves its issues during the coronavirus period, but the fact that this loan falls into the European-British rivalry, including for the presence in Ukraine – this line is partly beneficial for Ukraine as well, “Oleksiy Yakubin emphasizes..

As a reminder, the 22nd Ukraine-European Union summit took place in Brussels on October 6. At the end of the summit, the parties issued a statement in which they reaffirmed their “unwavering commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union on the basis of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area”.

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