France and Ukraine


Political relations

Relations between France and Ukraine have seen a certain revival following the Euromaidan protests and Ukraine’s closer ties with the European Union. In 2017, France and Ukraine celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, on which occasion the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development received his Ukrainian counterpart in Paris.


Bilateral contacts have been stepped up since 2014, with the Ukrainian President making four official visits to Paris (June 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). As part of efforts to settle the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the French President and his Ukrainian counterpart have had a number of telephone conversations. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development visited Kyiv on 21 February 2014 and on 7 June 2014 (inauguration of President Poroshenko). In 2016, the French and German Foreign Ministers made two joint visits to Kyiv, thus marking France and Germany’s constant 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 several delegations of French National Assembly Deputies and Senators to Ukraine, and the visit to Paris of a delegation from the Ukraine-France friendship group in the Rada, in June 2015.

Economic relations

Ukraine is France’s 62ⁿᵈ-largest customer and 58ᵗʰ-largest supplier. Trade recovered sharply 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 2% market share, and its fifth-largest in Europe. It is Ukraine’s 20th-largest European customer and receives 1% of Ukrainian exports.

On 28 October 2016, France hosted the second France-Ukraine business forum in Paris, in the presence of the Ukrainian Prime Minister. More than 300 businesses attended.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Culture: our cooperation with Ukraine is focused on the mobility of Ukrainian students and researchers towards France (1,700 students annually) and introducing young people to French culture and language. The 10 Alliance Française branches (8 of which are open since the closure of those in Luhansk and Donetsk) are a vibrant relay for the embassy’s cultural activities outside the capital, with more than 3,000 students. The French Lycée Anne de Kiev school in Kyiv, under contract with the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), continues to expand and has around 400 pupils.

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). The total volume of Expertise France activities in Ukraine stands at €12 million. Three FASEP disbursements worth €1.5 million have enabled three feasibility studies for waste management in Lviv and Tcherkassy and for the construction of a photovoltaic plant on the Tchernobyl site. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency), the mandate of which was extended at the last Interministerial International Cooperation and Development Committee (CICID) meeting in October 2016, could play a role in supporting Ukraine’s reforms and modernization.

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Updated: 28 December 2017