Ukraine, Turkey ‘natural’ partners, says envoy

Ukraine and Turkey are the “natural and real” partners, Andrii Sybiha, Kiev’s ambassador in Ankara told Anadolu Agency.

“Our main duty is to form a cooperation with key countries like Turkey and to maintain it because we stand shoulder to shoulder with Turkey after we declared our independence. We are natural and real partners,” Sybiha said last week.

Sybiha said Kiev and Ankara experience 26th anniversary of the diplomatic relations, adding: “We achieved progress in our strategic partnership this year. The political dialogue between the two countries gain a new momentum.”

The envoy said there is no political problem between Ukraine and Turkey since they base the ties on “win-win” formula.

“The bilateral trade volume, which showed a downward trend since three years, for the first time, it show an increase of 22 percent in the beginning of this year,” Sybiha said.

Sybiha reminded that last year’s bilateral trade volume was $4 billion and it stood at $1.5 billion in the first month of 2017.

He also said the tourists coming from Turkey to Ukraine increased by 25 percent.

“Last year, more than one million tourists came from Ukraine to Turkey and this year we expect an 30-50 percent of increase in the tourist flow,” Sybiha said.

A deal between Turkey and Ukraine allowing their citizens to travel to each other’s country without passports entered into force early June.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Groysman agreed on March 14 to begin passport-free travel between the two countries.

Under the deal, citizens of both countries will only need to present their national ID cards for stays of up to 90 days.