Strong cooperation reaffirmed in farewell visit to Ukraine
On 5 – 8 June, Ambassador Wendy Hinton made her farewell visit to Ukraine.
Ambassador Hinton was warmly received by Vice Prime Ministers Stepan Kubiv and Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Minister of Health Ulana Suprun, among others. She met with members of the New Zealand-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group and with representatives of international organisations based in Kyiv, including Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine.
Topics covered ranged from the situation in eastern Ukraine, including prospects for Minsk Agreements’ implementation, to the bilateral relationship and prospects for enhanced cooperation and strengthening diplomatic and economic links. With Ukraine about to embark on a “new era” of visa-free short stay travel to the EU (as from 11 June), the mood in Kyiv was very upbeat.
The new rules for obtaining visas to Ukraine for New Zealanders were discussed. The new procedure gives Kiwis more options, notably to apply for a visa online, in Ukraine’s Embassies abroad or to get a visa upon arrival at the international airports - “Boryspil” (Kyiv), “Kyiv” (Zhuliany), “Odesa” (Odesa).
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s excellent parallel programme for non-resident Ambassadors to Ukraine provided an opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues, and with the Ukrainian leadership, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin and Deputy Minister Sergiy Kyslytsya, who thanked countries represented for their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Deputy Minister of Economic Development Nataliya Mykolska outlined Ukraine’s ambitious trade and economic agenda and Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy Olga Trofimtseva gave ambassadors a tour of the impressive “Agro-2017” fair – Ukraine’s version of the New Zealand Fieldays! Another highlight was a visit to Ukraine’s biggest aircraft manufacturing company, Antonov – this proved a very popular destination, with many ambassadors enjoying the opportunity to try out the flight simulator.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Ukraine, Ambassador Hinton gifted books on New Zealand politics, economics, history and international relations to the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. The Rector of the Academy expressed interest in sharing best practice on training programmes with New Zealand.