Serbia–Ukraine relations

Serbian-Ukrainian relations



Serbian-Ukrainian relations are foreign relations between Serbia and Ukraine. SFR Yugoslavia recognized Ukraine in December 1991 by the decision on the recognition of the former republics of the Soviet Union. Diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were established on 15 April 1994.

Serbia has an embassy in Kiev. Ukraine has an embassy in Belgrade. Current Serbian Ambassador to Ukraine is Rade Bulatović and the current Ukrainian Ambassador to Serbia is Oleksandr Aleksandrovych. Serbian Ambassador in Ukraine is accredited to Moldova on non-residential basis. Ukrainian Ambassador in Serbia is accredited to Montenegro on non-residential basis.

Since September 2011 Serbians and Ukrainians can stay in the other ones country for up to 30 days without visas.[1]

History and ethnic relations

There are numerous Ukrainian organizations in Serbia. Ukrainian national minority has its own National Council with seat in Novi Sad. They are closely related to Pannonian Rusyns (Ruthenians). Ukrainian-Rusyn organizations have seats in Inđija, Sremska Mitrovica, Vrbas, Kula, Đurđevo, Ruski Krstur, Šid, Kucura and Subotica.[2] According to the 2002 census there were 5,354 ethnic Ukrainians in Serbia and 15,905 Rusyns, mostly living in Vojvodina.[3]

In the 19th century on territory of today's Ukraine there were two provinces populated by Serbs - New Serbia and Slavo-Serbia. By the decree of the Senate of 29 May 1753, the free lands of this area were offered for settlement to peoples of Orthodox Christian denomination in order to ensure frontier protection and development of this part of Southern steppes. Slavo-Serbia was directly governed by Russia's Governing Senate. The settlers eventually formed the Bakhmut hussar regiment in 1764. Also in 1764, Slavo-Serbia was transformed into the Donets uyezd of Yekaterinoslav Governorate (now in Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine). According to the 2001 census there were only 623 Serbs living in Ukraine (219 spoke Serbian, 104 spoke Ukrainian, 218 spoke Russian and 68 some other language).[4]

Political relations

Serbia and Ukraine have been active in bilateral meetings. In January 2001, President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma paid a visit to Belgrade and met with the then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Vojislav Koštunica. Prime Minister Dragiša Pešić, visited Ukraine in September 2001. President of Serbia and Montenegro Svetozar Marović, visited Ukraine in November 2003. Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Božidar Đelić, met with Oleksandr Turchynov, first deputy prime minister in Kiev after the EBRD annual meeting where they have discussed future free trade agreement and situation in Kosovo.[5] President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko visited Serbia in June 2009, during the XVI Summit of Heads of Central European States in Novi Sad.[6]

Foreign Minister of Serbia, Goran Svilanović visited Ukraine in February 2002. Ukrainian Minister of Defense Yevhen Marchuk, visited Serbia in February 2004. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, visited Serbia in October 2004. In January 2005 Serbian Foreign minister Vuk Drašković, visited Ukraine on the occasion of the inauguration of President Viktor Yushchenko. Drašković visited Ukraine again in June 2005 and March 2006. Ukrainian Foreign minister Borys Tarasyuk visited Serbia in January 2006 and Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Serbia in July 2007.[7]

Zoran Šami, Speaker of the National Assembly, met Ukraine’s Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn, during the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Kiev in June 2005.

Mayoress of Belgrade, Radmila Hrustanović, visited Kiev in June 2002.

Officials of Serbia and Ukraine have had important meetings in multilateral arenas as well. The most important was the meeting between Presidents Kuchma and Koštunica at the Earth Summit 2002 in Johannesburg.[8]

Pora, a civic youth organization from Ukraine, was trained by members of the similar organization from Serbia - Otpor!. Otpor movement helped bring down the regime of Slobodan Milošević during 5th October and they trained Pora members in organizing Orange Revolution against the regime of Leonid Kuchma.[9]

In 2008, after the Serbian province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence as the Republic of Kosovo, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Foreign Affairs, Oleh Bilorus, stated that "Ukraine will back Serbia's stand on Kosovo".[10] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said that Ukraine must come up with a concept of how to regard the issue of Kosovo, either as a unique phenomenon in the world, or in the context of existence of Transdniester, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and other separatist regions.[11]

This is our brotherly nation, we have long common history, traditions and close relations with, both political, economic, and humanitarian.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, about relations with Serbia (June 2009).[12]

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych stated on June 4, 2010 that the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Kosovo violates international law, "I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo's independence. This is a violation of international law".[13]

Slavica Đukić Dejanović, Speaker of the National Assembly, met Ukraine’s Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn in Kiev in July 2010. They signed a document on cooperation between the parliaments of Ukraine and Serbia on July 7, 2010.[14]

In April 2011, Ukraine’s Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn visited Serbia.[15]

In May 2011, Foreign Minister of Serbia Vuk Jeremić visited Ukraine and signed visa-free regime between the two countries.[16]

In November 2011, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov visited Serbia for the Central European Initiative summit.[17]

Serbian President Boris Tadić visited Ukraine in November 2011.[18]

There is a spiritual and religious unity of the Serbian and the Ukrainian people.

Serbian President Boris Tadić, about relations with Ukraine (November 2011).[19]

Economic relations

In 2007 exports from Serbia were US$97,700,000 and imports from Ukraine were over US$274,000,000.[20] In 2008 the trade between the countries grew by 71%.[21]

Ukraine and Serbia will sign a free trade agreement in autumn 2009.[22] Ukraine supports Serbia's intention to join the World Trade Organization.[22]

Culture and education

Serbia and Ukraine signed the Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Culture and Sports on 24 January 1996. On the basis of this Agreement a Program of Cooperation between the two countries for the period 2002–2004 was signed in February 2002. It was agreed to extend this agreement to cover 2005 through exchange of diplomatic notes. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academies at the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.[23]

Defense cooperation

Ukraine and Serbia signed a Treaty on military cooperation on 4 November 2003 and ratified in August 2004. Based on this treaty there were four meetings of working groups for enhancement of the cooperation. Priorities set by two sides are mutual army modernization, development and production of arms and military equipment, involvement of Serbian companies in decontamination of radioactive ammunition in Ukraine, joint operation in third markets, exchange of information, expert consultations and training of military staff.[24]

See also


  1. Ukrainian government approves agreement on visa-free travel with Serbia, Kyiv Post (September 22, 2011)
  2. Українські та русинські організації національної меншини в РС, Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia
  3. (in Serbian) "Official Results of Serbian Census 2003Population" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-24. (441 KiB), pp. 12-13
  4. All-Ukrainian population census Archived 2007-03-15 at the Wayback Machine., State Statistics Committee of Ukraine
  5. "Урядовий портал :: Сьогодні відбулась зустріч Першого віце-прем'єр-міністра України Олександра Турчинова з Віце-прем'єр-міністром з питань європейської інтеграції Республіки Сербія Божидаром Джеличем". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  6. President Yushchenko takes part in the XVI Summit of Central and East European Heads of States Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Political contacts, Embassy of Ukraine in Republic of Serbia
  8. Bilateral political relations with Ukraine, Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  9. Fledgling Youth Groups Worry post-Soviet Authorities Archived 2008-02-22 at the Wayback Machine., EurasiaNet Civil Society
  10. Ukraine to back Serbia's position on Kosovo, NRCU
  11. Timoshenko hints on Ukraine's position on Kosovo Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine., Regnum News Agency
  12. Ukraine supports Serbia's wish to join the WTO Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine., Official website of the Ukrainian President (June 19, 2009)
  13. Yanukovych: Recognition of independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Kosovo violates international law, Kyiv Post (June 4, 2010)
  14. Ukrainian, Serbian parliaments sign cooperation agreement, Kyiv Post (July 7, 2010)
  15. "Litvin u poseti Srbiji". Glas Amerike. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  16. "Bez viza u Ukrajinu". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  17. RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of Serbia. "RTS :: Saradnja u regionu prioritet". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  18. "Ukrainian president meets with his Serbia´s counterpart in Kiev CCTV News - CNTV English". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  19. Голова Верховної Ради України Володимир Литвин переконаний, що перший в історії українсько-сербських відносин офіційний візит Президента Сербії Бориса Тадича в Україну надасть вагомого поштовху подальшому поглибленню відносин між нашими державами в усіх сферах, Інформаційно - аналітичний центр "ЛІГА (11.11.11 | 11:54 )
  20. Economic relations with Ukraine, Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  21. Ukraine supports Serbia's accession to WTO, says president, Interfax-Ukraine (June 19, 2009)
  22. 1 2 Ukraine, Serbia to sign free trade agreement in autumn, UNIAN (June 19, 2009)
  23. Cultural-educational cooperation with Ukraine, Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  24. Vojno-tehnička saradnja, Embassy of Ukraine in Republic of Serbia
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