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Trade Minister attends Trade Ministers’ Meeting to discuss Ukraine support 2022-05-06

Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo attended the virtual Trade Ministers’ Meeting convened by the UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne Marie Trevelyan on May 4 to discuss support for the people and economy of Ukraine.

This meeting was held to strengthen solidarity and cooperation of the international community with respect to economic recovery assistance for Ukraine, and was proposed and held by the UK government. The U.S., Germany, France, Australia, and Japan were among the participant nations.

Secretary of State Trevelyan commenced with opening remarks denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling for a swift end of war as well as the international community’s dedicated support for Ukraine’s economic recovery. She further shared UK’s aid efforts, including zero tariffs for all goods imported from Ukraine and guarantee in loans through MDBs (multilateral development banks).

Minister Yeo stated that “As a responsible member of the international community, Korea views the present situation as very critical,” and denounced Russia’s Ukraine invasion as a serious violation of the United Nations Charter, expressing Korea’s objection to acts of life-threatening violence and crimes against humanity. He noted that “Korea is making joint efforts with Western nations by imposing financial sanctions and trade restrictions, and through WTO’s joint statement condemning Russia’s aggression.”

Korea has partaken in the following measures against Russia: exclusion of key Russian banks from the SWIFT system, urging to halt investment in Russian treasury bonds and transactions involving Russia's Central Bank, exports restrictions on strategic items and 57 non-strategic items, WTO’s joint statement denouncing Russia’s Ukraine invasion, and WTO’s joint statement halting all procedures of Belarus’ application for WTO accession.

Minister Yeo also relayed the measures Korea has taken since March to support Ukraine, including the USD 40 million humanitarian assistance, non-lethal military supplies across 65 items, and asylum assistance for Ukrainian refugees.

The trade chief mentioned that “Korea is considering further measures to continue supporting Ukraine,” and finished his statement by assuring that the “Korean government will maintain its strong cooperation with the international community to bring about a prompt resolution of the current crisis.”