Turkey's support valuable for Ukraine, says ambassador
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARADec 17, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Dec 17, 2016 12:00 am
The newly appointed Ukranian ambassador to Turkey said on Thursday that Ukraine gives importance to the support of an "effective world actor" such as Turkey.
"We give great value and importance to the support of an effective world actor like Turkey," Andrii Sybiha said in his interview with Anadolu Agency (AA).
He said the main goal was to implement a project that will bring two "friendly" countries closer.
"Our slogan would be ‘implementation of practical projects.' It is time to move from big words to concrete efforts," Sybiha added.
Sybiha said Turkey was one of the countries that recognized Ukraine's independence in 1991, adding: "We both remember and appreciate it."
About Crimea, Sybiha said: "I am sure the occupation of Crimea will end with the support of the international community and Turkey."
"Crimea will be returned to Ukraine and peace will be ensured in Ukraine."
Crimea was formally annexed by Moscow in March 2014 after a referendum, which was contested by the international community, on the heels of anti-government protests that led to the overthrow of the then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
Along with many U.N. countries, the U.S. and the EU, Turkey also does not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
Concerning economic relations between Ukraine and Turkey, Sybiha said there was a 20 percent fall in trade volume in the past two years.
He added the trade volume was around $4 billion and it was "highly important" to sign a free trade agreement with Turkey.
"We are actively negotiating with our Turkish friends, we are in consultation. We need to fulfill the negotiations until the end of this year and reach an agreement," said Sybiha.
He said he also expected the number of Ukrainian tourists coming to Turkey to reach about 1 million by the end of 2016.
Sybiha praised Turkey's "hospitality and nice climate."