On January 9, Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk met with Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Ukraine Melinda Simmons. During the meeting, the parties discussed the agenda for bilateral cooperation following Brexit in the process of shaping its foreign policy.
First of all, the Prime Minister of Ukraine expressed his condolences to the citizens of the United Kingdom who had lost their relatives and friends in the “Ukrainian International Airlines” plane crash near Tehran on January 8. The Ambassador assured the UK’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance to ensure proper investigation of the crash.
The first issue raised at the meeting was a new Political, Trade and Partnership Agreement between Ukraine and the United Kingdom after the UK's exit. “We are looking forward to signing the Political, Trade and Partnership Agreement in the near future. It would be ideal to sign the new Agreement during the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to London. In December 2019, we reached an accord on the provisions of the Political Part of the Agreement. We look forward to concluding talks on the Political Part of the Agreement on January 14-15,“ said Oleksiy Honcharuk.
Moreover, the Prime Minister discussed with the Ambassador Melinda Simmons the visa facilitation for Ukrainians: “Ukraine has achieved visa liberalization with a number of countries, has been granted a visa-free regime with the EU. It is rather relevant to grant to Ukrainian citizens a simplified procedure for obtaining British visas. The visa issue remains very problematic in our relations. We propose to work out together the ways to liberalize the relevant visa conditions."
Apart from that, Oleksiy Honcharuk asked the UK for help to Ukraine on its way towards joining the NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partnership. Ms. Melinda Simmons promised that the UK would initiate a discussion on the matter within the Alliance.
The parties also tackled areas for cooperation between the two countries, including providing technical assistance by the United Kingdom. Such areas include the reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, tax and the customs reforms, strengthening of government strategic communications, health care reform, anti-corruption reform, and the State in Smartphone project.