UK Minister for Europe to make Ukraine his first foreign trip

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He will use a speech at the annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) forum on Saturday (14 September) to reflect on Ukraine’s European future, and Ukrainian efforts to restrict the impact of Russian aggression, and make the reforms necessary for stability and prosperity.

The Minister is expected to say:

The first commitment I make on foreign soil is this: for as long as it takes our Ukrainian friends to achieve the security, liberty, and prosperity they so rightly demand: the United Kingdom will remain by your side.

Highlighting the UK as one of the first nations out of the blocks to show support for Ukraine following the attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea, the Minister will remind Russia that their aggression towards Ukraine will never be forgotten:

Russia’s continued restrictions on shipping through the Kerch Strait should end immediately and serve no purpose other than to de-stabilise Ukraine and its economy.

However he will urge Ukraine to recognise that defending against Russia’s malign activity begins by building a resilient, prosperous and responsive state, and will praise the commitment President Zelenskyy has made to addressing this through reform in Ukraine:

That is why strong and trusted institutions are so important. It is also why Ukraine’s reform process is such an essential part – not only of your defences against Russia – but also of your path to stability and prosperity.

Further information

Published 13 September 2019

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