EU and Ukraine launch raw materials strategic partnership

Photo: EPA Maroš Šefčovič

The EU and Ukraine launched today a strategic partnership on raw materials, with the aim of achieving a closer integration of raw materials and batteries value chains, the EU press service reported. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by VP Maroš Šefčovič and Ukraine PM Denys Shmyhal during the dedicated high level conference.

The strategic partnership with Ukraine will include activities along the entire value chain of both primary and secondary critical raw materials and batteries, and will help diversify, strengthen and secure both sides' supply of critical raw materials, essential for achieving the green and digital transitions. The partnership will also be decisive in preserving global competitiveness and developing resilience of EU and Ukrainian industry.

“I am honoured to launch, on behalf of the EU, this strategic partnership. This new chapter in EU-Ukraine cooperation will not only strengthen our political bond, but will also bring a wide range of opportunities for EU and Ukrainian industry – and ultimately help create and preserve local jobs in future-oriented areas, intrinsically linked to the ongoing green and digital transitions,” VP Maroš Šefčovič said.

Today's signature constitutes the first tangible deliverable under the enhanced cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in the areas of the European Green Deal and the Industrial Strategy. It follows on the mutual commitment and interest expressed at the 7th Association Council meeting on 11 February 2011.

More specifically, the strategic partnership signed today will aim to develop three key areas of work.

First, it focuses on the approximation of policy and regulatory mining frameworks, and notably the environmental, social and governance criteria across all activities. Secondly, the partnership aims to better integrate critical raw materials and battery value chains to develop minerals resources in Ukraine in a sustainable and socially responsible way. Finally, the partnership also encourages closer collaboration in research and innovation along both raw materials and battery value chains using Horizon Europe.

Furthermore, the EU and Ukraine endorsed a first roadmap, a set of concrete activities and joint projects to advance the strategic partnership in the period 2021-2022.

Specifically, it will help to develop a low carbon strategy and roadmap to decarbonise raw material mining, extraction and processing in Ukraine; strengthen sustainable and responsible sourcing and processing of raw materials and batteries in Ukraine by organising capacity building events for public administration and trainings for companies; digitalise and strengthen data management of Ukrainian mineral resources/reserves by creating ‘Data room' – a repository with digital geological reports, and de-classifying and re-assessing raw materials reserves using international standards; enhance the use of Earth-observation programmes and remote sensing to strengthen new resource exploration, and monitor environmental performance of mines during operations and post-closure; and identify and conduct joint-venture projects for EU and Ukrainian industrial and investment actors by using Business Investment Platforms of the European industrial alliances.

The EU and Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources also launched cooperation on the EU technical assistance support under the strategic partnership. The EU topped-up its 2021 technical assistance programme to the Ukrainian government and companies by €750,000. Further substantial assistance support for capacity building, trainings and studies is foreseen as from 2022.

The European banks, i.e. the EIB and the EBRD, will also mobilise financial and investment instruments to support concrete actions under the Memorandum of Understanding and the Roadmap.

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