February 3, 2014 marked the 22d anniversary of the establishing of the Ukrainian-Turkish diplomatic relations. The Republic of Turkey became one of the first countries to recognize the independent Ukraine after the people of Ukraine confirmed the independence of their country at the All-Ukrainian Referendum held on December 1, 1991. The Ukrainian and Turkish Sides established diplomatic relations soon afterwards – on February 3, 1992. They signed the basic Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation on May 4, 1992.
After that Ukraine and Turkey concluded 105 agreements in the various spheres of cooperation and brought their relations to the level of strategic partnership. Volumes of the Ukrainian-Turkish bilateral trade reached more than $ 6 billion in the previous year.
Now the two countries actively develop relations in such important strategic spheres as energy, transport, defense and aerospace industries, science and technology. Ukraine and Turkey share common views of many aspects of international relations and assist each other in their respective international initiatives.
The third meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council between Ukraine and Turkey was held in the framework of the official visit of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to the Republic of Turkey on October 9, 2013. The Ukrainian President and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan co-chaired the meeting. The Sides stated common views regarding necessity to apply efforts in order to accelerate the process of preparing the Ukrainian-Turkish Free Trade Agreement, to develop the North-South transport corridor by means of joint participation in the Viking and Zubr projects, to enhance cooperation in the sphere of joint natural gas production at the Black Sea shelf, to develop interregional, cultural and humanitarian relations etc. The agreement on prolongation of the visa free stay in Ukraine for Turkish citizens up to 60 days became one of the important results of the visit (respective decision of the Ukrainian Side entered into force on December 3, 2013).
The two countries have the longest seacoasts in the Black Sea. Therefore the safeguarding of peace and stability in the Black Sea region is among the main priorities of Ukraine and Turkey. The strategic partnership between our two countries, which have been good neighbors and friends throughout history, has its real dimension. Its most important element is the high level of mutual trust and understanding reached by Ukraine and Turkey.