France and Ukraine


Political relations

Bilateral relations between France and Ukraine are dominated by France’s diplomatic commitment within the Normandy Format for the resolution of the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. In 2017, France and Ukraine celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.


Bilateral relations have been stepped up since 2014, with the Ukrainian President making four official visits to Paris (June 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). The French and German Foreign Ministers visited Kiev in 2016, showing their ongoing support for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the continuation of structural reforms in Ukraine. There have also been many parliamentary visits since spring 2015, including the visit to Ukraine by several delegations of French National Assembly Deputies and Senators, and the visit to Paris by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada in June 2018.

2018 was punctuated by several high-level bilateral meetings, including the visit to Paris of the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin, on 5 February 2018. The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, then visited Kiev on 22 and 23 March 2018, where he met the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, as well as the Prime Minister and his counterpart. The French Minister of State, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, visited Kiev on 30 October 2018 for the seventh Franco-Ukrainian Mixed Economic Commission. This visit was an opportunity to have several political meetings with the Ukrainian Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. President Macron and the German Chancellor met with the Ukrainian Head of State on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum on 11 November 2018. The NATO Ministerial Meetings held on 4 December 2018 were the opportunity for a bilateral meeting between the two Foreign Ministers, Pavlo Klimkin and Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Economic relations

Ukraine is France’s 62ⁿᵈ customer and 58ᵗʰ supplier. Trade took off in 2016, with a 23% rise in French exports to Ukraine and 1.5% growth in French imports from the country (mostly cereals and fertilizers). France had a trade surplus with Ukraine in 2017 (+€193 million). France is Ukraine’s ninth-largest supplier worldwide, with a 3.2% market share in 2017. In 2017, France was Ukraine’s fourth European supplier, well behind Germany (first supplier, 11.0% market share) and Poland (7.0%), and narrowly trailing Switzerland (3.4%) and Italy (3.3%).

The seventh Franco-Ukrainian Mixed Economic Commission was held in Kiev on 30 October 2018 in the presence of Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (the previous Mixed Economic Commission was in 2011). An important contract was signed in July 2018 for the supply of 55 civilian helicopters, while several important contracts, with a total value of over €2 billion, are currently being negotiated or have been signed.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

In the cultural field: France’s cooperation with Ukraine is focused on the mobility of students and young researchers towards France. France receives 1,700 Ukrainian students every year. Our work also aims to promote the French language and culture, particularly to young Ukrainians. The 10 Alliance Française branches (8 of which are currently active, due to the closure of those in Luhansk and Donetsk) are a vibrant relay for the embassy’s cultural activities outside the capital, with more than 3000 students. The French Lycée Anne de Kiev school in Kiev, under contract to the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), continues to expand and has around 400 pupils. 2018-2019 was declared the “Year of the French Language” by Foreign Minister Klimkin. The sixteenth “French Spring” was launched in Kiev on 30 March. This arts festival will offer a month of over 100 cultural events in nine cities around Ukraine.

Decentralized cooperation: some 40 twinning programmes are in place between local government bodies in both countries. A declaration of intent for trilateral cooperation between France, Poland and Ukraine was signed on 6 July 2016.

Support for reform and modernization of Ukraine:
France stresses its experience and offers its expertise in European funding in the fields of anti-corruption, managing public finances, decentralization, public administration reform and health care. The agency Expertise France is responsible for the implementation of the European anti-corruption project PRAVO (€15 million). France has also financed three feasibility studies for waste management in Lviv and Cherkasy and for the construction of a photovoltaic plant on the Chernobyl site.

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Updated: 11.04.19