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

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KIEV, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Turkey will sign a dozen deals, including a free trade agreement, when President Tayyip Erdogan visits Kiev, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday.

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

NATO ally Turkey is a maritime neighbor of Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea. It has good relations with both Kiev and Moscow, but opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya, as well as Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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While Turkey is forging cooperation with Russia on defense and energy, it has also been selling sophisticated drones to Ukraine, angering Moscow. Erdogan has offered to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, but has also warned Russia against invading Ukraine. Continue reading

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

Trade turnover between Turkey and Ukraine, both of which are Black Sea countries, totaled US$7 billion in 2021, with Ukrainian exports worth US$4.1 billion. Grain and metal accounted for 70% of Ukraine’s sales to Turkey.

FTA negotiations have dragged on for about a decade due to disagreements over grains and metals.

Other agreements due to be signed on Thursday include cooperation in high-tech, aerospace, youth policy and law enforcement, Shmygal said.

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Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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