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Canada - Ukraine Relations

On December 2, 1991, Canada became the first western country to recognize Ukraine's independence. This was quickly followed up by the establishment of diplomatic relations with Ukraine on January 27, 1992.

The Embassy of Canada in Kyiv is at the heart of our engagement with Ukraine. The Consulate of Canada in Lviv provides valuable services to western Ukraine.

Ukraine is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. Ukraine also has a Consulate General in Toronto and offices in Pickering and Vancouver. Ukraine is opening a second Consulate General in Edmonton.

Canada and Ukraine enjoy close bilateral relations. Historic ties of friendship forged through generations of Ukrainian migration to Canada are reinforced by shared values and interests to produce a mature, balanced and mutually beneficial 21st century partnership. The 1994 Declaration on the "Special Partnership", renewed in 2001, and again in 2008, recognizes Canada's support for the development of Ukraine and the importance of our bilateral cooperation to ensure stability and prosperity in the world. The two countries have signed a variety of agreements and memoranda of understanding covering such areas as trade, technical cooperation, defence and mutual legal assistance. A vast opportunity for cooperation still remains. In September 2009, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon signed a "Road Map" with Ukraine setting out priority areas for bilateral cooperation.

Since 1991, Canada has invested considerable effort and resources in support of Ukraine’s democratic transformation and political and economic reform as well as its integration into Euro-Atlantic and international structures and institutions. These efforts have further accelerated since the “Orange Revolution” of December 2004. Canadian election observers have helped ensure free and fair Ukrainian presidential elections in December 2004 and January-February 2010 and parliamentary elections in March 2006 and September 2007. Canada welcomed Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in May 2008 and supports Ukraine’s aspirations for eventual North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership.

Canada and Ukraine cooperate in a range of international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and La Francophonie. High level visits in the last years include President Yuschenko's visit to Canada in May 2008. Canada was represented in November 2008 by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, at the 75th anniversary commemoration in Kyiv of the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine-genocide, the Holodomor. In April 2009 Her Excellency Michael Jean made a state visit to Ukraine. During the visit of Prime Minister Harper in October 2010 to Kyiv and Lviv a Memorandum on Youth Mobility was signed and then implemented in April 2011 as "International Experience Canada" program which enables youth to travel or obtain professional experience in each other country.

Ukrainians continue to travel and immigrate to Canada in significant numbers, further reinforcing the close familial, social, and cultural ties between the two countries. In 2010, the Embassy of Canada in Kyiv issued approximately 8,500 temporary visas to visitors, students, and temporary workers and issued roughly another 2200 Permanent Resident visas to new immigrants intending to come to Canada. Canadian employers are actively recruiting temporary and permanent skilled workers in Ukraine. Several Canadian provinces have established skilled worker recruitment programs, thereby contributing to the continued growth of Canada's economy and the prosperity of all Canadians.

In defence matters, Canada supports the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership through the provision of language, leadership, and peacekeeping training for Ukrainian military and civilian personnel. Ukraine is the third largest participant in Canada’s Military Training Cooperation Program (MTCP).

Ukraine is one of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) 20 countries of concentration. Current projects focus on supporting economic opportunities for Ukrainians in a strengthened democracy. Through the G8-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Canada and Ukraine cooperate in projects in the area of nuclear security and nuclear safety (including the Chornobyl Shelter Fund), the redirection of former weapons scientists through the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine (STCU), and border security.

Canada and Ukraine enjoy positive commercial relations. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Ukraine totalled $252.2 million in 2010. Canada’s merchandise exports totalled $156.7 million and included machinery, fish and seafood, aerospace products, pharmaceuticals, and meat (mainly pork). Canada’s imports from Ukraine totalled $95.5 million in 2010 with mineral fuels and oils, fertilizers, iron and steel and iron and steel products, and toys and sports equipment making up over three quarters of imports. Canada and Ukraine have signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, a Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and an Air Transport Agreement. Negotiations toward a Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement were officially announced in June 2010.

November 2011


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Date Modified:
2014-01-17