Ukraine and Turkey have signed an agreement on the establishment of a free trade zone

Анастасія Діденко
19:03, 03 February
Ukraine and Turkey have signed an agreement on the establishment of a free trade zone
Image source: GETTY IMAGES

The agreement was signed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal and the Minister of Trade of Turkey Mehmet Mus.

This became known from the broadcast of the signing ceremony of bilateral documents by Ukraine and Turkey, which is conducted by the President's Office.

Zelensky called the signing of the agreement a historic moment.

"We have come a long and difficult way to open new horizons of our cooperation", - he said.

The day before, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined world leaders who arrived in Kyiv to offer support to Ukraine.

Turkey is a member of NATO, but also maintains difficult relations with Russia, developing deep diplomatic and economic ties, but at the same time entering into military clashes in a number of arenas, including Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan.

Turkish officials said Putin would visit their country after a trip to China, but did not provide details, and although Erdogan offered to act as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv, none of the governments supported his idea.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara before the departure of his plane, the Turkish president said he was determined to help de-escalate the crisis.

"We mention at every meeting that we support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine - our strategic partner and neighbor", - Erdogan said.

Seeking to reassure Moscow, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stressed Ankara's commitment to an agreement that severely restricts NATO forces' access to the Black Sea through the Bosphorus.

It will be recalled that in 2014, during the conflict in Georgia, when Washington sought to restrain Russia's military action, Turkey refused to launch American warships into the Black Sea.

After a personal meeting between Erdogan and Zelensky, the signing ceremony of a number of agreements between Ukraine and Turkey began.

"There are more important things, such as security and peace, so the challenges that arise and overcoming them were the main topic of our meeting", - Zelensky said, thanking Erdogan for Turkey's active participation in the Crimean platform and support for Crimean Tatars.

He also thanked the President of Turkey for the initiative to become a mediator between Ukraine and Russia.

In turn, Erdogan noted that his visit was a sensitive period and stressed the support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea.

"Turkey is ready to do everything possible to end the crisis between the two countries. We will gladly accept the summit at the level of leaders or technical negotiations", - Erdogan said.

The day before, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a draft agreement on a free trade zone with Turkey.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyridenko, the parties managed to reach mutually beneficial conditions as a result of intensive talks. She added that this is not only an agreement on trade, but also an agreement on mutual investment and production cooperation.

Turkey is significantly expanding the sectors in which Ukrainian companies will be able to operate on a permanent basis, and Ukraine encourages Turkish companies to operate on its territory.

In the morning, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov gave a briefing to the media, at which he revealed the details of one of the agreements signed with Turkey today. We are talking about the construction of a Bayraktar drone plant in Ukraine. Additionally, it is planned to create a training center for pilots who will operate drones.

The agreement also contains a rule on the complete lifting of restrictions on Ukrainian trucks, including the free entry of empty trucks.

Both countries guarantee companies free access to their services market. However, regulating business in Turkey is much easier than in Ukraine. Therefore, it is likely that under such conditions, some Ukrainian companies may want to change their place of registration to Turkish.

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