Ukraine and Turkey to sign free trade agreement during Erdogan’s visit to Kyiv

KYIV, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Turkey will sign a dozen agreements, including a free trade deal, during President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Kyiv, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday.

Erdogan on Thursday will become the latest in a series of leaders to visit Kiev in a show of solidarity with Ukraine in its standoff with Russia, which has amassed more than 100,000 troops near its borders.

A NATO ally, Turkey is a maritime neighbor of Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea. He enjoys good relations with Kiev and Moscow, but opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya, as well as its annexation of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine in 2014.

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While forging cooperation with Russia in defense and energy, Turkey has also sold sophisticated drones to Ukraine, angering Moscow. Erdogan offered to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, but also warned Russia against invading Ukraine. Read more

“We have intensified negotiations with our Turkish partners to ensure that the (free trade) agreement meets the interests of Ukrainian companies, creates opportunities for our exports and the potential for modernization of Ukrainian companies,” Shmygal said during the meeting. a government meeting.

Trade turnover between Turkey and Ukraine, which are both Black Sea littoral states, totaled $7 billion in 2021, with Ukrainian exports worth $4.1 billion . Cereals and metals accounted for 70% of Ukrainian sales to Turkey.

Negotiations on a free trade agreement have dragged on for about a decade due to disagreements over grains and metals.

Other agreements to be signed on Thursday include cooperation on high technology, aviation and space, youth policy and law enforcement, Shmygal said.

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Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Gareth Jones

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