Netanyahu and Poroshenko sign free trade agreement following years of bureaucracy; Netanyahu: Israel will continue to block Iran’s efforts to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel.


Israel and Ukraine signed a bilateral free trade agreement in Jerusalem on Monday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, their meeting centered on increasing bilateral ties, trade and cooperation in the areas of technology, health, aerospace, science, security and much more.

Both leaders referred to the bureaucracy and years of hard work placed into creating the free trade agreement. President Poroshenko took to Twitter stating, “Today is a historic day in Jerusalem. For many years hundreds of bureaucrats have attempted to prepare this agreement that will make the lives of our countries better…. This agreement will promote the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the countries and will help reduce the price of Ukrainian goods in Israel, and Israeli goods in Ukraine.”

Netanyahu echoed Poroshenko, stating on the agreement, “We’ve worked on this for many years. The bureaucracies have had all the opportunities to prevent this from happening. We overcame it.” On the future of bilateral ties and cooperation, Netanyahu stated, “I look forward to continuing to work together to build a future that both our people cherish and both our people deserve.”

The prime minister also took the opportunity to address the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) airstrikes in Syria on Iranian targets over the weekend. Referring to Iran’s efforts and actions through its regional proxies, he stated Monday, “Israel will continue to block Iran’s efforts to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward [operating] bases for attacking Israel for the express purpose which they openly declare: destroying Israel. No country should stand aside while its destruction is being planned or advanced. And Israel exercises its basic right of self-defense and preemptive self-defense, a right that exists for every nation. We will continue to take all the necessary actions to protect our people and defend our borders, and we will continue to respond with force to anyone that tries to harm us.”

This is Israel’s ninth free trade agreement with foreign states.



Photo: Aritra Deb/