The Ukrainian president held meetings with a number of Qatari officials in his first visit to the Gulf state since assuming presidency in 2019.
Qatar and Ukraine have signed several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) across various sectors during President Volodymyr Zelensky’s bilateral visit to Doha on Monday.
The cooperation will see the two countries dive into the legal field, energy sector, healthcare, youth and sports, according to a statement by the Amiri Diwan.
Zelensky and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the ceremony in Doha on Monday, where an agreement for additional contributions from shareholders Qterminals was signed.
“A memorandum of understanding between Qatar Investment Authority and State Property Fund of Ukraine, and a memorandum of understanding to attract and support investment” were also among the agreements signed in Doha, the statement added.
“They also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fields of youth and sports, a memorandum of understanding on ports, and a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture and food safety,” the statement noted.
Energy was also high on the agenda.
Signed by Ukraine’s Acting Energy Minister Yuriy Vitrenko and President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum and Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, the document entails joint development and investments in Doha and Kyiv’s gas exploration and production for three years.
“Increasing our own gas production, diversification of gas supply sources is in the interests of gas consumers in Ukraine and will contribute to sustainable economic development and strengthening Ukraine’s energy security,” said Vitrenko.
Recognition of diplomas
“The memorandum will create an appropriate legal mechanism for the mutual recognition of diplomas and certificates of seafarers between our countries. What is important is that it will promote further employment of Ukrainian sailors on board ships flying the flags of the State of Qatar,” Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklii said.
The latest MoU further adds to the benefits enjoyed by citizens of both countries, which have been in place since 2017. Qataris and Ukrainians can freely visit the two states without a visa, and Qatari citizens visiting Kyiv can get an entry visa directly at the airport.
During a meeting held between Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani and his Ukraninan counterpart Arsen Avakov, the officials agreed on cooperation in preventing and combating crime.
“As part of the official visit of the President of Ukraine to Qatar, I signed with Khalid Bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani a Memorandum with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Qatar on cooperation between Ukraine and Qatar in the field of preventing and combating crime. Ahead is the exchange of experience and effective strengthening of cooperation!” tweeted Avakov.
Youth, physical education and sports
“According to the memorandum, bilateral Ukrainian-Qatari ties in the field of youth, physical education and sports will be developed both through the central executive bodies and through the interaction of public youth and sports organisations,” Ukraine’s press service of the Ministry of Youth and Sports said.
Prior to the signing, the Ukrainian leader also expressed his country’s willingness to provide Qatar with technical and security support during the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, noting that Ukrainian companies are interested in taking part in infrastructure projects in the Gulf state.
“In 2012 we hosted the European Football Championship, and in 2019 the final match of the Champions League among club teams took place in Kyiv. Therefore, we will be happy to share our experience with Qatari partners,” he said.
Qatar and Ukraine officially established diplomatic ties in 1993, since then the two states have been strengthening their bilateral ties.
More recently in 2020, Doha provided Kyiv with humanitarian and medical care to help the country curb the spread of Covid-19 through the Qatar Fund for Development. The cargo plane was loaded with up to nine tonnes of coveralls, medical gowns, masks, gloves, goggles and face shields.
“Humanitarian aid provided by Qatar to many countries around the world demonstrates your country’s strong commitment to a spirit of partnership and mutual assistance in difficult times,” he said.