Ladies and Gentlemen, Havatin e Azrat, Пані та Панове! Your Excellency Amabassador Athar Abbas!
Let me thank all of you for felicitating this event with your distinguished presence.
Today, we are here to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Also taking this opportunity, I congratulate all Pakistani friends with coming Pakistan Day that will be celebrated in two day! Navruz Mubarak to all our Muslim friends!
First of all, I would like to express my high respect and sincere gratitude to all those who have dedicated and contributed to the growth of Ukrainian-Pakistani friendship.
Since Ukraine and Pakistan established diplomatic relations on 16-th of March, 1992 the bilateral dialogue between both countries have always been friendly and sincere, based upon mutually beneficial cooperation.
This date is a very important milestone in the history of relations between two countries. But Ukrainian-Pakistani relations began long before official recognition by Pakistan of Ukraine’s independence and establishing diplomatic relations. Their history arrives at times of the former USSR, when specialists, most of whom were Ukrainians, helped in 1960-70 to reconstruct key industries of national economy of Pakistan.
Our friendly relations have developed steadily. The high level of mutual understanding and trust between Ukraine and Pakistan in political and diplomatic sphere has been reached.
The Embassy of Pakistan in Ukraine began its activities from October, 1997 in Kyiv. The Embassy of Ukraine in Pakistan functions from January, 1998 in Islamabad.
Our political and diplomatic dialogue became regular. In this context, one should mention meetings of Presidents of Ukraine and Pakistan within the framework of sessions of the UN General assembly (1993, 1997, 2003); negotiations of Prime Ministers of two countries within the framework of the World economic forum (Davos, in 2008); the official visit to Ukraine of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (in 1994); meeting between Minister of Foreign affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz within the framework of international forum (Beijing, on May, 2016).
In November, 2016 the first visit to Pakistan of Minister of Defense of Ukraine took place.
Within the framework of existing agreements, the political consultations at the level of deputies of ministers for foreign affairs are taking place on regular basis. The last round of those consultations was held on 6 of June, 2016 in Kyiv.
By building independent state, Ukraine has always stood out internationally as a reliable and constructive partner. Today our efforts and aspirations are undermined by Russian aggression and illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. However, we are confident that with comprehensive diplomatic, financial and humanitarian assistance of our friends we will overcome today’s difficulties.
As Ukrainian Ambassador in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I am very pleased to admit that Pakistan is among our good friends.
In the past 25 years, a military-technical collaboration remains one of the main pillars of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations.
The first important contracts between Pakistan and independent Ukraine were concluded in a military-technical sphere in 1996. One of them is the well-known multimillion-dollar tank contract which provided Pakistan with modern tanks, and Ukrainian enterprises with perspective long-term orders.
On November, 2016 during the visit of the Ukrainian delegation to Karachi for participation in the International Defence Exhibition «Ideas-2016», the contracts worth over $600 mln have been signed.
Pakistani military-industrial complex has the intention to continue a collaboration with Ukraine in development of technologies and production of military goods, in particular, in the construction and service of the main battle tank of «Al'-Khalid», which is supplied to the Pakistani army and exported in other Muslim countries. It was recently confirmed by signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between defense industries of Ukraine and Pakistan, which took place within the framework of the International Defence Exhibition ''Idex-2017'' in Abu-Dabi.
On the current stage of development of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations, there is an urgent need to apply the positive experience of bilateral cooperation in military-technical sphere to the civil aspects of our collaboration.
Our two countries take interest in each other’s market and stress their readiness to exploit huge unused potential for economic cooperation.
There is a growing economic interaction between the business communities of our two countries. The volume of bilateral trade in the year 2014 reached its historical maximum of half billion US dollars. In 2016 the volume of trade between Ukraine and Pakistan amounted to over 146 million US dollars.
Ukrainian exports are dominated by grains and oilseeds, steel products, machinery and dairy products. Pakistani exports to Ukraine mainly consist of textile products, citrus fruits, rice, plastic and polymer materials.
For the time being, the task for both sides is to create more favorable conditions for building up mutually beneficial business cooperation. Primarily, it refers to the intensification of political contacts, formation of a proper legal base for cooperation in the spheres of trade, investments, finance, transport, launching productive inter-regional, cross-industry cooperation.
Cultural heritage of Ukraine and Pakistan provides good background for cooperation in this field. Ancient civilizations of Hindus valley and Trypillia were one of the first great civilizations in the world. Hence, there is a substantive background for interaction between scholars, joint research and exhibition projects. In December 2014 both parties successfully conducted joint project on issuance of a postal stamp “Mohenjo Daro – Trypillia”.
In the past 25 years, our people-to-people exchanges flourished as well.
Hundreds of Pakistani citizens have received higher education in Ukrainian universities, i.e. Kyiv Civil Aviation Institute, State Engineering University of Kharkiv, Ukrainian Academy of Arts, National Technical University “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, State Medical University of Vinnytsia, State Medical University of Crimea, State Medical University of Kharkiv etc.
Our experience in the past 25 years tells us that mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation is the best way for countries to get along with each other, and it serves their common interests.
Those years have been marked by reliable and trustworthy dialogue between Ukraine and Pakistan in both bilateral and multilateral settings.
We have a great potential for the development of bilateral relations. And I would like to use this opportunity to express my strong belief that the relations between Ukraine and Pakistan will develop further in the coming years.
Long live friendship between Ukraine and Pakistan!
Glory to Ukraine and God bless Ukraine!