Erdogan said Ukraine and Turkey were committed to making free-trade agreements and boosting bilateral trade volume to $10 billion.

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy (L), attend a signing ceremony ahead of press conference in Istanbul, Turkey on October 16, 2020.
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy (L), attend a signing ceremony ahead of press conference in Istanbul, Turkey on October 16, 2020. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar / AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed relations with Ukraine and said both countries have enhanced their ties in many fields including the defence industry, health and tourism through a win-win approach.

At a news conference in the capital Ankara following a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Erdogan said Turkey viewed Ukraine as a key figure required to establish peace, stability, and security in the region.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of a “goodwill” agreement concerning the defence industry and a “military framework agreement,” officials said, although details of the agreements were not immediately known.

"Defence industry cooperation is very important for the development of our strategical partnership and I am very happy that we have strengthened that today," said Zelenskiy.

The Turkish president said both sides were committed to making free-trade agreements and boosting bilateral trade volume to $10 billion through investments and growing socio-economic relations.

Erdogan said that more than 500,000 Ukrainian tourists visited Turkey this summer despite the Covid-19 pandemic, reflecting Ukrainians’ trust in Turkish authorities’ “safe-tourism” campaign.

The president also commented on the political front, saying Ankara has always supported Ukraine’s territorial and political integrity, adding Turkey never recognised the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Closing ties

Erdogan previously met Zelenskiy in Ukraine’s capital Kiev in February.

Under an agreement signed during the visit, Turkey pledged to provide $25.8 million (205 million liras) to help Ukraine meet its military needs.

The two countries also agreed to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion and $20 billion, significantly higher than the $5 billion recorded in 2019.

READ MORE: Turkey, Ukraine discuss taking trade volume to $10B

The leaders also called for negotiations on a free trade agreement that have been going on since 2012 to be concluded this year.

Last year, Ukraine also purchased six Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles and three ground control station systems from Turkey.

A delegation led by Ukraine’s vice prime minister visited Turkey last August.

Source: AA