Liz Truss holds talks with Ukrainian counterpart in the face of Russian aggression

Foreign Minister Liz Truss holds meets Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for a meeting UK/Ukraine Strategic Dialogue in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

The Foreign Secretary has held talks today (Wednesday 8 December) with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in the UK-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

I was delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to London following our productive meeting last week at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Latvia.

The situation facing Ukraine today is one we have seen time and again from the Kremlin playbook. Russia is trying to destabilise its democratic neighbours in a futile attempt to exert control over them.

The UK, together with our NATO and European partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We stand with our allies to defend and advance the frontiers of freedom. We call on Russia to de-escalate tensions and abide by its international commitments including reporting troop movements and returning to the table for serious talks. A Russian incursion would be a strategic mistake and subject to consequences.

We are providing defensive military support primarily through Operation ORBITAL, the UK’s training mission to Ukraine. Since launching in 2015, we have trained over 20,000 members of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The Foreign Minister and I discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in a number of areas and build stronger trade links. That’s why I am pleased to announce that UK Export Finance is increasing its support for British exporters in Ukraine to £3.5 billion which will support trade in priority sectors including healthcare, infrastructure and clean energy.

Trade is the key to unlocking the potential in our relationship and challenging malign actors together. We now need to turbo-charge trade between our countries, open up new opportunities for investment and support job creation in Ukraine and across every part of the UK.

Support for upgrading Ukraine’s nuclear energy sector is a win-win area. The UK stands to gain from our world-class expertise in clean energy while giving Ukraine the opportunity to reduce its dependency on Russian fuel imports.

We will also start discussions with Ukraine on a Commercial Dialogue to expand and enhance our trade relationship, and for the first time have a dedicated environment to discuss ways to remove market access barriers that impact trade between our countries.

We will continue to work closely with our Ukrainian friends to protect our freedom, democracy and security.

This was the first UK-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue, part of an agreement signed by the Prime Minister and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy during his visit to London last year. The aim of the talks is to deepen ties between the two countries to challenge malign actors, boost trade and invest in our shared future.

A Joint Communique was signed and is viewable: UK-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue joint communique.

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