You are here:
Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Ukraine
Switzerland and the Ukraine work together closely in political and economic matters. In addtion, Switzerland is supporting the Ukraine Government in its efforts to introduce reforms in the areas of good governance, the rule of law and sustainability.
Political, economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries is excellent on both the bilateral and multilateral level: between 1992 and 2009 Switzerland and Ukraine signed 18 agreements. Within the framework of its chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Switzerland and Serbia (2014–2015), Switzerland will also work closely together with Ukraine.
Of the CIS countries Ukraine is the second largest destination for Swiss exports after Russia. Switzerland exports predominantly pharmaceutical products and machinery to Ukraine, and imports mainly precious stones and metals, jewellery as well as machinery and agricultural products.
Scholars and artists from the Ukraine can apply to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
A trainee agreement enables young people from the Ukraine to spend a limited period of time in Switzerland in order to acquire additional professional experience and to hone their language skills.
Switzerland supports the Electoral Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, and if requested is ready to offer its good offices.
The Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) has opened a cooperation office in Kiev, which is also implementing the programme of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Swiss assistance focuses on the thematic areas of reproductive health, local governance and public services, financial and economic sustainability as well as sustainable energy management. Between 2011 and 2014 the SDC and SECO together will contribute CHF 60 million. The SDC and SECO cooperation strategy 2011–2014 also saw the upgrading of technical cooperation.
At the end of 2011 there were 169 Swiss nationals living in the Ukraine.
Cultural exchange in the areas of music, film, theatre and literature have intensified.
Contacts between Switzerland and Ukraine go back to Tsarist times. In those days the territory that is now Ukraine was a favoured destination for Swiss emigrants. As a result of this movement, a colony known as 'Zürichtal' came into being on the Crimean peninsula some 200 years ago. A little later, French-Swiss wine growers founded a colony in the Odessa area that is still in existence today.
Almost immediately after the independence of Ukraine in December 1991, Berne and Kiev opened embassies in each others' country.