Turkey and Ukraine celebrated three decades of bilateral relations on Thursday.
Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine Yağmur Ahmet Güldere told Anadolu Agency (AA) that relations between Ankara and Kyiv have come a long way over the past three decades.
“Our peoples are closer than ever. But knowledge of our countries is not limited to 30 years, it is much more rooted.”
On February 3, Kyiv is set to host the 10th High-Level Strategic Council between Turkey and Ukraine, with heads of state expected to attend the event which will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the two countries see the upcoming council meeting as an opportunity to sign the long-awaited free trade agreement.
The second meeting of the Quadriga format for political and security consultations, held for the first time in 2020 in Kyiv with the participation of the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries , is expected to be held in the Turkish capital Ankara this month.
Turkish and Ukrainian leaders have set an annual trade volume target of $10 billion, which is currently over $5 billion.
Turkey, meanwhile, is expected to set a new record in this area by welcoming more than 2 million Ukrainian tourists by the end of this year.
Countries agreed to travel without visas or passports in 2017.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey became one of the first countries to recognize Ukraine on December 16, 1991, and the two countries established diplomatic relations on February 3, 1992.
The friendship and cooperation agreement between Ukraine and Turkey was ratified in 1993.
In 1649, the first agreement was signed between the Cossacks of Ukraine and the Ottoman Empire.
Also, the Ottoman Empire was one of the first states to recognize the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1918.
Turkey, a NATO member, has also supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and criticized Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia to resolve the Crimean crisis.
Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Donbas has claimed over 13,000 lives since 2014, UN says
The region is one of many sources of friction between Russia and Ukraine.