Ukraine is trusted, tested friend of Pakistan: Envoy

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 23 (APP): Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Lakomov
terming his country a trusted and tested friend of Pakistan, Wednesday
said the two countries were making adequate efforts to take the
bilateral relations to next level.
In an exclusive interview with APP on the eve of the 25th
Anniversary of Independence of Ukraine falling on Thursday, he said,
“We hope that Pakistani Ukrainian friendship will grow, we getting
more comprehensive relations covering all other areas not only
business, culture but people to people cooperation.”
To a question, he said the relations between the two countries were likely to get more dynamics with signing of various new agreements, conventions and setting up of commissions.
Those efforts, he said, would not only bring both the countries
closer but would also assist in making them close partners to achieve economic prosperity and stability.
“We see relations with Pakistan getting stronger, more beautiful and more distinctive.” Both countries, he added, primarily needed to intensify
the political contacts, formation of a proper legal base for cooperation
in the spheres of trade, investments, finance, transport, and launching productive inter-regional and industrial cooperation.
He said despite the obstruction of Moscow, the Free Trade Agreement
of Ukraine with the European Union would become effective that could
bring new benefits for Ukraine-Pakistan trade. He said it would open
new avenues for the investors of the two countries and help Pakistani products to reach European market through Ukraine.
“We praise the distinguished gains in our outstanding mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Pakistan
and we are very much optimistic about its future.”
The ambassador said the volume of trade between Ukraine and Pakistan
in the year 2014 reached its historical maximum of US$ 498 million
(52.4% increase compared to the year 2013). Export of Ukrainian goods
to Pakistan amounted to US$ 397.5 million, imports of goods –
US$ 100.8 million, with positive trade balance for Ukraine to the tune
of US$ 297 million.

Talking in detail about the linkage of Pakistani universities to
the universities of Ukraine for setting strong foundation of bilateral relations between the people of the two countries, he said through a
survey the students of important universities in Ukraine were asked to identify Pakistani products in their nearest super stores. They found Pakistani Basmati rice, Kinno, mango and textile products easily
available in every super store near their educational institution. It
reflected that Ukrainian people were familiar with Pakistan and its products, he added.
Replying to a question, Volodymyr Lakomov said Ukrainian businessmen were working on opening super stores in major cities of Pakistan to introduce Ukrainian products.
Responding to a query, he said Ukrainian machinery and engines were
of high quality and cheaper than other competitors.

Ukraine, he said, specially appreciated an outstanding cooperation
with Pakistan in the military and technical field, which would proceed
and actively develop in future.
“IDEAS – 2014” International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in
December of 2014 was marked by a distinguished high-level meeting of the Head of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”, Roman Romanov with the then Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Karachi.
The stall of the Ukrainian defense industry at “IDEAS –2014” was declared one of the best and was awarded, he said.
He said the Ukrainians assisted to develop the key industries and national economy of Pakistan in 1960-70’s. The Karachi Steel Mills,
which remained the largest in Pakistan, a number of powerful hydro
stations in Tarbela and others were built in that period, as well as
the large pack of Ukraine agricultural machinery and trucks was delivered
to Pakistan.
He said after getting independence on the 24th of August, 1991, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan officially recognized the Ukrainian State
on the 31st of December, 1991, and both the sides established
diplomatic relations on March 16, 1992.
The ambassador maintained that for two decades there had been
political dialogue between Ukraine and Pakistan and that had become
regular.
About the political turmoil in his country, Ambassador Volodymyr
Lakomov said Ukrainian independence in the newest history dated back to
that year of 1991, when on the 24th of August the Parliament of
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic declared independence of Ukraine, finally bringing the juridical existence of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to an end to give the way to Sovereign Ukrainian State based
upon democracy and human rights.

“After hundreds and decades of thorny history of Ukraine, having
lost precious lives and blood of our people, especially in the 20th
century during Stalin’s genocide against Ukraine artificial “Hunger-Holodomor of 1932¬-1933″, then political repressions by the
Soviets, World War II and the largest in human history catastrophe
related to nuclear power of Chernobyl in 1986, Russian aggression today
has become a special and strong catalyst of our unity,” he remarked.
To a query, he said the Russian illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and its support of armed terrorist and separatist units
in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, had demonstrated a blunt violation by Russia of core principles of International Law. Thousands of Russian soldiers and mercenaries, tanks and other heavy weapons delivered through the border impossible to hide, he added.
He said the violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act of August 1, 1975, posed risk of disturbance of balance in the entire
international security architecture.
“Ukraine is fully committed to the process of peaceful settlement of
the Donbas crisis and sees no alternative instrument for the achievement
of peace than the Minsk agreements.”