Estonia and Ukraine sign bilateral co-operation agreement

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Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Source: Henri-Kristian Kirsip.

The prime ministers of Estonia and Ukraine signed a cooperation agreement for future technical project during a video conference last week.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said a visit of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal to Estonia was to take place in November but was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus.

"Estonia conducts nearly 40 cooperation projects with Ukraine a year, the main focus of which is on strengthening democracy, including through the development of e-government, supporting the business environment, and raising the quality of education. In connection with the spread of the coronavirus, we are also paying more attention to the field of health care," he said.

In the first project, Estonia will start managing border queues at two Ukrainian border checkpoints. This provides an opportunity to apply Estonia's experience in Ukraine in dealing with similar problems and promotes both cross-border movement and trade.

The leaders of the Estonian and Ukrainian governments discussed bilateral relations and common challenges in the fight against the coronavirus. During the pandemic, Estonia has helped Ukraine with masks, disinfectants, blankets, and other items that help protect people from the virus and speed up the recovery of the sick. Both countries are trying to strike a balance between health care and economic needs and are preparing for the moment when it will be possible to start vaccinating the population, especially those at risk. The European Union has pledged €500 million to support the international risk mitigation mechanism COVAX, which helps ensure access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, including Ukraine.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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