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Israel–Ukraine relations

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Israel–Ukraine relations are foreign relations between Israel and Ukraine. Both countries established diplomatic relation on December 26, 1991. Israel has an embassy in Kiev. Ukraine has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate-general in Haifa. In July 2010 the foreign ministers of two countries sign an agreement of non visa traffic between Israel and Ukraine. This came into effect on February 9, 2011 and since then Ukrainians and Israelis may enter territory, travel through it or stay on Ukraine/Israel without having to obtain visas for 90 days within a period of 180 days. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated in September 2016 that this visa-free regime had increased tourist flow between two countries tenfold.

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In November 2014, was appointed Oleg Vyshniakov, entrepreneur and man of Ukrainian public figure, to the Israel's honorary consul in western Ukraine. In May 2015 was inaugurated honorary consulate of Israel in Lviv.

Basic factors in relations

As Ukraine is rich with Jewish history, it plays a major part in Israeli education for young generation of Jews. In addition, Ukraine is also rich in religious history and contains the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslev, which is a pilgrimage site to many religious Jews. As Israel and the West Bank contain rich Christian history, Ukrainians come to Israel as religious pilgrims. This is especially true regarding Jerusalem, with its Orthodox Christian holy sites.

For Jews worldwide, Ukraine also holds many memories regarding the Holocaust, as the site of Babi Yar is in its territory.

As Ukraine is a newly independent state, this serves to create a common sense of identity of Ukraine and Israel as nations who gained their independence in the 20th century.

A special tourisms programs for Jews and Israelis, developed in cooperation with the Lviv Municipality and the District Administration, which includes visits to Jewish memorial sites and architecture, operated by Hebrew speaking tourist guides. In May 2015 launched a direct flight Lviv-Tel Aviv-Lviv operated by the airline "Mao", on regular flights twice a week.

The Israeli government claims that their failure to vote in support of Ukraine against Russian aggression was due to a public workers strike.

Ukrainian Jews

Ukraine has one of the world's largest Jewish communities. At the same time, Ukrainian Jews make up a significant proportion of Israel's population.

Economic relations

In 2012, the bilateral trade turnover between the countries was 1.3 billion dollars, a growth of 49.1% in comparison to 2011. The total export of Ukraine was 922.5 million dollars (796.4 in products and 126.1 in services). The import reached the amount of 364.2 million dollars (266.8 in goods and 97.4 in services). The main exports from Ukraine to Israel in 2012 were: grain (50.6%), non-precious metal (18.2%), aircraft (6.9%), food industry byproducts (5.8%), oil seeds and oleaginous fruits (3.3%), fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin (1.5%), electrical machinery (1.2%), nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery (1.1%). The main Israeli imports to Ukraine in 2012 were: mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation (42.4%, various chemical products (9.0%), plastics (7.0%), goods purchased in ports (5.5%), pharmaceutical products (4.8%), electrical machinery (4.4%), nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery (4.1%), fruits and nuts (3.1%), optical: photographic equipment (2.2%), soap: organic surface-active substances (1.9%), synthetic or artificial (1.7%), vegetables (1.6%), essential oils (1.5%).

Israel Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy operates an Economic & Trade Mission in Kiev. Its main goal is the promotion of trade and export by assisting Israeli industry expanding in the Ukrainian market, supporting individual exporters in marketing activity in Ukraine, attracting investment and expansion of strategic cooperation with Ukraine, improving knowledge of the Ukrainian business of Israeli industry and economy and helping in solving problems arising for Israeli companies operating in Ukraine. The economic attaché in Ukraine is Elizabeth Solovyov.

Israel's honorary consul in western Ukraine, Oleg Vyshniakov, established an inter-ministerial committee for Ukrainian-Israeli trade and economic cooperation, as well as an economic business forum, which launched in November 2015 in Kiev. Leading developers in the fields of Industry and Trade in Ukraine and Israel are taking part of this program.

State visits

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko paid a state visit to Israel on December 22, 2015, where he met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and addressed the Knesset.

Rivlin visited Ukraine in September 2016.

Notable incidents

  • Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 – Ukraine accidentally shot down a plane from Tel Aviv, killing 40 Israelis and 38 Russians.
  • Dirar Abu Seesi abduction
  • References

    Israel–Ukraine relations Wikipedia


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