Thursday, June 30 2016 17:50 EEST
What the UK’s referendum means for the UK's policy towards Ukraine?
United Kingdom, referendum, European Union, relationship, illegal annexation, Russia military, support,NATO, OSCE, corruption, comflict, sanctions, contributor, SMM

On 23 June, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. I know that this decision has come as a shock to many. And many have asked me what this will mean for the UK’s relationship with Ukraine.

British Embassy, Kyiv reports:

According to the British Ambassador to Ukraine:

'In short, the UK continues to stand by Ukraine. From the very beginning of the crisis we have stood firm and condemned Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas. Our military support and training provided by Operation ORBITAL continues to save Ukrainian lives on the battlefield. And we are supporting Ukraine’s defence reform through our Special Defence Advisor and targeted assistance. We look forward to welcoming Ukraine’s Strategic Defence Bulletin at the NATO Ministerial in Warsaw next month and will continue to work with NATO Allies to provide strategic reassurance in the region. The UK will play an active role in Exercise Rapid Trident, which commences in Ukraine today.

The UK continues to help in Ukraine’s fight against corruption, including through supporting the General Prosecutor’s Office and National Anti Corruption Bureau. Our funding will continue to underpin reform efforts in Ukraine and we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict, including internally displaced people.

In response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, the UK led on securing and maintaining a robust international reaction, including sanctions and the non-recognition policy on Crimea’s illegal annexation. We will continue to do so.

And the UK will continue to support Ukraine across international fora. The G7 Ambassadors’ Support Group remains active and engaged and the UK will continue to play a key role as the world’s 5th largest economy. We work closely with partners (including Ukraine) on the UN Security Council and will continue to play an active role in NATO and the OSCE. The UK is the second largest contributor to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The UK will now prepare for a negotiation to exit the EU. In the meantime, the British Government will continue working to deliver the agenda set out before Parliament in the Queen’s Speech in May. And I will continue to work hard as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to build on the strong bilateral links between our two countries and work for a stable, secure and prosperous Ukraine.'

British withdrawal from the European Union, also shortened from 'British exit' to Brexit, is a political goal that has been pursued by various individuals, advocacy groups, and political parties since the United Kingdom joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973. Withdrawal from the European Union has been a right of EU member states since 2007 under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

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