The 2016 British referendum on exiting the European Union — known as Brexit — was widely regarded as a blow to EU unity and a bad omen for Ukraine’s support within the bloc. But Alan Duncan, the United Kingdom’s Minister for Europe and the Americas, says that his country will stay involved with its Ukrainian partners even once it leaves the EU.
While visiting Kyiv for the Yalta European Strategy forum earlier this month, Duncan pledged Britain’s continued support for Ukraine.
“We might be leaving the European Union, but we will not be leaving our responsibilities as a major world player to make sure that important issues such as the future of Ukraine are addressed,” he said.
Condemning Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory, Duncan stressed that Britain is participating fully in international efforts aimed at addressing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
“We are one of those countries that says a rules-based international order is essential for the peace and security of the world,” he said.
You are the minister of Europe and America. How would you define the UK role in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict negotiations?
First of all, Britain has a very clear view about this but we are also participating fully in the international efforts which are being made to address this problem. The annexation of Eastern Ukraine is totally unacceptable, and we are one of those countries that says a rules-based international order is essential for the peace and security of the world. So we believe very strongly that what Russia has done and is doing is wrong. So we fully support the opinions and view of Ukraine and we will continue to play our part in the United Nations and elsewhere in addressing this issue very firmly, very strongly and consistently.
There is a very important event in Great Britain: Brexit. What are the prospects of Ukraine and UK nations in all fields after this event?
I’m delighted you’ve asked this question because it gives me the opportunity to say something we feel very strongly about: ‘We will leave the European Union, but we are not going to leave Ukraine.’ We are still part of Europe, part of the United Nations, P5, G20, NATO and we will play our full part after we’ve left the European Union, in the defense and security of the wider world including and perhaps particularly this part of the world. We might be leaving the European Union, but we will not be leaving our responsibilities as a major world player to make sure that important issues such as the future of Ukraine are addressed and that the process that exists will have Britain strongly in it.