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Political issues
31 August 2012 20:40

Contacts of President of Ukraine

Political dialogue at the highest level began with the working visit of President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk to Belgium in July 1992. In June 1995, while in Brussels, the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma met with Belgian King Albert II.

There were bilateral talks between President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and Prime Minister of Belgium at the Summit EU - Ukraine (Yalta, September 2001), President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister of Belgium on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of "Solidarity" (Gdansk, August 2005) and the UN Summit (New York, September 2005). In February 2005, during a visit to Brussels to attend NATO summit, Ukraine’s President Yushchenko met with Chairman of Belgium’s Senate A-M.Lizen. Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko met with Belgium’s Prime Minister during his official visit to Ukraine in October 2008. In March 2009 in Brussels Summit of European People's Party President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko met with Prime Minister of Belgium.

The first ever official bilateral visit of President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko to Belgium took place on October 15-16, 2009. During the visit he had an audience with the Belgian King Albert II, meetings with Prime Minister of Belgium, Chairmen the Senate and the House of Representatives. President of Ukraine expressed satisfaction with dynamics of bilateral relations and implementation of the Roadmap of bilateral relations in 2009-2010. It was agreed on cooperation in the framework of EU-Ukraine relations, particularly in view of the Belgian EU presidency in the second half of 2010.

Ukrainian delegation visited the port city of Antwerp, where a memorandum of cooperation between Odessa and the Antwerp Port was signed. During the seminar in the Federation of Belgian companies President of Ukraine discussed the main factors that affect the business and investment image of Ukraine, the activities of Belgian business in Ukraine, particularly in preparation for Euro 2012. In Brussels (Ixelles) President of Ukraine inaugurated a memorial plaque in honor of the first diplomatic mission of Ukraine in Brussels - diplomatic mission of the Ukrainian People's Republic in Belgium and the Netherlands (1919-1923).

On November 23, 2010 in Kiev, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met with Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium, who was in Ukraine at the head of the economic mission. Special attention was paid to the current state and prospects of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, including projects in the context of preparation for European Football Championship 2012.

Contacts of heads of parliaments

Summits of heads of parliaments of the two countries took place in 1994, 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2009, during visits in Brussels of delegations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine headed by its heads.

In March 1996 the Belgian parliamentary delegation headed by Senate Chairman and House of Representatives visited Ukraine. In November 2008 Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belgian Parliament Herman with his delegation visited Kyiv, where he participated in the International Conference of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-33.

In February 2009, during his visit to Brussels, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Lytvyn met in the Belgian federal Parliament Senate Chairman. Chairman Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also visited Brussels on 30 November - 1 December 2009 and met with Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belgium. They discussed implementation of the Roadmap of bilateral relations in 2009-2010, identified common measures aimed at intensifying inter-parliamentary ties. The Sides exchanged views on global and European processes, the political situation in Ukraine and Belgium, ways to overcome the global economic crisis.

In July 2008 the parliamentary friendship group Ukraine-Belgium (26 people), headed by MP Boris Tarasyuk, was created in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. During 2008-2009, there were six meetings of the parliamentary groups of friendship of the two countries, parliamentary committees on foreign affairs, European integration, during which they discussed current international issues, support by Belgium of European aspirations of Ukraine, prospects of Ukrainian-Belgian inter-parliamentary dialogue etc.

Parliamentary Group (section) Belgium-Ukraine Inter-Parliamentary Union functioned in the previous Belgian federal parliament, but after the parliamentary elections in Belgium in 2010 such a group of friendship has not been created yet due to the Kingdom's continuing political crisis.

Contacts of heads of governments

In July 1997, Prime Minister of Belgium visited Ukraine on his working visit, during which he met with the leadership of Ukraine. Meetings of heads of Government were also held on the occasion of visits of Prime Ministers of Ukraine to Brussels in November 1995, May 2000, March 2002, October 2005, September 2006, January and June 2008. In October 2008, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko met with Belgian Prime Minister as part of his official visit to Ukraine, during which the work of Ukrainian-Belgian Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Financial cooperation was initiated. In March 2009 in Brussels at Summit of European People's Party Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko met with Prime Minister of Belgium. They discussed development of Ukrainian-Belgian relations and support by Belgium of the European integration of Ukraine.

On October 13, 2010 during the visit of Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov to Brussels he met with Belgian Prime Minister. The parties discussed several issues regarding the status and prospects of bilateral relations, particularly regarding the preparation of Economic Mission of Crown Prince Philippe in Ukraine in late November 2010 to lead a delegation of Belgian businessmen. During the press conference Belgian Prime Minister informed of the readiness of Belgium as the EU Presidency to facilitate agreement between Ukraine and EU on the FTA.

On 21-25 November 2010 an official visit (Economic Mission) Ukraine Prince Philippe of Belgium at the invitation of Prime Minister of Ukraine took place. Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov and Prince Philip attended the opening of the Ukrainian-Belgian business forum. In addition, 15 important contractual documents of economic nature were signed during the mission.

Political dialogue of foreign ministers

Political dialogue at the level of foreign ministers began with the official visit of the Belgian Foreign Minister in Ukraine in May 1996. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Henadii Udovenko visited Belgium in April 1997. Sine that time meetings on the level of foreign ministers of the two countries have been held on a regular basis.

In 2008, foreign ministers of Ukraine and Belgium had five bilateral meetings in Brussels, Kiev and New York, during which they discussed current bilateral relations, topical themes, global processes and international security.

In March 2008 Belgian Foreign Minister was in Kiev with the delegation of Belgian businessmen and football functionaries to present the experience of their country in the Euro 2000 and Belgium’s capabilities for preparation for European Football Championship 2012 in Ukraine. During the visit, there was international seminar attended by representatives of the Football Federation of Ukraine and businessmen and representatives of football business circles of Belgium.

On November 19, 2008, foreign ministers in Brussels signed the Roadmap of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Belgium for the period 2009 - 2010.
On October 16, during the official visit of President of Ukraine to Belgium, Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko met with Belgian Foreign Minister, during which they discussed issues of bilateral relations, support by Belgium of European aspirations of Ukraine, issues of regional security.

On March 27, 2010, in Brussels, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko met with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium. During the meeting they discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, including preparation of high-level visits, cooperation in international organizations. The sides exchanged views on prospects for further cooperation between Ukraine and EU, ongoing processes of institutional reforms, the EU priorities for the Belgian EU presidency in 2010, main directions of the new Government of Ukraine aimed at carrying out comprehensive reforms to achieve socio-economic growth and internal stability. The sides noted the presence of mutual interest to further deepen their bilateral relations, cooperation between Ukraine and EU.
On October 26, 2010 in Brussels, a regular meeting of foreign ministers of Ukraine and Belgium took place. The sides agreed upon a wide range of topical issues of the Ukrainian-Belgian relations, the importance of the visit in November 2010 (Economic Mission to Ukraine) of Prince Philippe of Belgium. In the context of cooperation between Ukraine and EU special attention was paid to preparations for the Summit in November 2010, in particular the issue of granting visa-free Action Plan to Ukraine, completion of negotiations on Association and Free Trade Agreements.

In November 2010 during his official visit to Ukraine the Belgian Prince Philippe met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko.
Since 2002, there have been political consultations at the level of deputy ministers and directors of departments of MFA of the two countries, which take place usually every year. In 2010 consultations in the format of Benelux–Ukraine were launched.

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