25 Aug 2022 12:18

Zelensky and Johnson meet in Kyiv

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv.

"I am glad to welcome Boris Johnson, a great friend of Ukraine, on our Independence Day. Boris, thank you for your uncompromising support of our country. Our state is lucky to have such a friend!" Ukrainian media outlets quoted Zelensky as saying on social media.

Johnson, in turn, announced a 54 million pound assistance package for Ukraine, which will include 2,000 modern drones and loitering munitions, Ukrainian media said, citing the UK government.

Johnson's visit to Ukraine is intended to demonstrate strength and solidarity with Ukraine, according to the report.

It was also reported that the UK prime minister was honored with the Order of Liberty for the United Kingdom's firm support of Ukraine. It is Ukraine's highest award that can be bestowed on foreign citizens.

During his visit to Kyiv, Johnson also called for the UK to increase its support for Ukraine, adding that the UK will also help rebuild Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and the UK plan to sign a digital trade treaty, which will remove barriers in trade and will provide support to Ukrainian business. The only country with which the UK has already signed such an agreement is Singapore, Ukrainian media said, citing the Economy Ministry and the Ministry of Digital Transformation.

The Economy Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday that Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedotov discussed this document, known as the Digital Economy Agreement, with UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan the day before.

"The digital trade deal is a new type of a trade agreement, which will open up new opportunities for Ukrainian and British business through the use of modern technologies, which will reduce bureaucratic procedures and will facilitate the use of electronic transactions, digital signatures and electronic contracts," Svyrydenko said.

The agreement will pave the way for creating digital infrastructure to minimize restrictions on cross-border data transfers, will create a single-window system for traders and government agencies, will facilitate a rise in services trade, will ensure proper personal data protection, and will improve access to public resources, the ministry said.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation, for its part, added that the key avenues of such cooperation include financial technologies, payment systems, open digital markets, and technical cooperation.

The digital trade deal will complement the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by Ukraine and the UK on October 8, 2020, it said.