Dynamics of bilateral relations between Israel and Ukraine

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Ukraine H.E. Joel Lion

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Ukraine H.E. Joel Lion informs the FD readers about positive changes in the bilateral relations.

“… we share the same values, values of the market economy and liberal society.”

How do you assess the state of bilateral cooperation between our countries?

I should say that the cooperation between our states has been developing rather intensively in three main spheres, namely in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres. How do I assess these three areas? Well, let me compare them with the school subjects and school grades. So, I would give A for political cooperation – in spite of the fact that our Prime-Minister’s visit to Ukraine has been postponed due to different reasons, we are, anyway, moving in the same circle of the international problems vision and understanding. We share the same values, values of the market economy and liberal society. So, it is a real A.

The same grade should be given to our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, because we have vivid and positive changes here and B shall be mentioned only in the economic sphere. Sure, you may and you will ask me: Why? My answer is as follows – we have done a lot but much more should be done and I hope that this scope of work will be completed by both parties.

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The history of our bilateral relations is not a simple one. What is the main achievement that has been already achieved in these relations?

Well, there is nothing simple in history in the world and especially when it comes to relations between different ethnic or religious groups.

I am definitely sure that Ukraine and Israel should not see in the past only difficult and controversial issues in the history of our communication and our coexistence. At least, historians could cope with them. We, the diplomats, must create the present and the future and both of these periods must be better than the past. Though, this is not easy, but we have already set out on this path, started to move and keep going. I dare to believe that we are doing it well.

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Dynamics of bilateral relations between Israel and Ukraine
Надзвичайний та Повноважний Посол Ізраїля в Україні Й.В. Пан Джоель Ліон

What can you say about trade turnover between our countries? What can be interesting for Israeli business in Ukraine?

I would like to see more and more figures talking about an increase in the turnover and our Embassy has been doing its best for that to happen. I have mentioned in the very beginning of our talk that our economical cooperation must revive but it does not mean at all that it is experiencing the period of stagnation. Israeli business is keen on the agricultural and energy sectors of the Ukrainian economy, but the space for mutual business activity is much wider.

Many Israeli IT-companies have been working in Ukraine. What does attract these companies in our country specifically?

The legislative framework for the activity of IT-companies in Ukraine is really impressing. This is the first reason and that is not only my opinion.

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The newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky used to mention this factor as a key one for the investment attractiveness of your country. The second factor is also of an outmost importance. I mean HR or, simply saying, human resources. There are extremely qualified people in the IT-sphere in Ukraine. Thus, our mutual activity could be a sort of the wonderful combination – Israeli IT-companies that develop and sell IT-products and the brilliant Ukrainian IT-professionals that assist to develop and sell the IT-product.

Such combinations are common in the globalized world and our countries keep up with this trend.

What would you like to wish to the readers of our magazine?

I like your country. Ukraine is a wonderful place on earth. And I want to wish for Ukrainian people three key things in the world – peace, health and prosperity – to the people of Ukraine.