EU and Ukraine: New Strategic Partnership for Critical Raw Materials and Batteries

7. August 2021 | Market

Following on a partnership with Canada comes the second step in the implementation of the EU action plan on critical raw materials from September 2020.

In mid-July, the European Union (EU) and the Ukraine launched a strategic partnership for critical raw materials and batteries. In Kiev, EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal signed a corresponding agreement. The new partnership – in line with the targets of the EU’s action plan on critical raw materials – is intended to contribute to strengthening and securing both side’s supply of critical raw materials and batteries.

Following the signing of a partnership agreement with Canada, the EU has now concluded its second raw materials partnership on 15 June, 2021. The EU action plan published in September 2020 was intended to serve Europe’s transition to a greener and digital economy.

The strategic partnership just agreed with the Ukraine aims to develop three key areas of work: Approximation of policy and regulatory mining frameworks and the application of principles of sustainable mining, better integration of the value chains for critical raw materials and batteries and the development of joint venture projects and other business opportunities. In addition, the new partnership is to encourage closer collaboration in research and innovation along both raw materials and battery value chains using the Horizon Europe framework program.

In addition, as the EU announced, with the signing of the current partnership, a series of specific measures was indorsed, to be implemented by the end of 2022. These include the development of a strategy and a roadmap to decarbonizes raw material mining, extraction and processing in Ukraine, strengthen sustainable and responsible sourcing and processing of raw materials and batteries in the Ukraine, data management in the context of Ukrainian mineral resources and reserves and the use of Earth-observation programs and remote sensing to strengthen new resource exploration and to identify and conduct joint-venture projects for industrial and investment actors from the EU and the Ukraine.

The news platform Euractiv.de quoted EU Commission Vice President Šefčovič with the words: “We must also see the meetings and discussions which we will be conducting today and tomorrow in a geopolitical context. The Ukraine will become part of a European value chain which, in my opinion, is of strategic importance.” In addition, the platform wrote: “The planned raw materials partnership between the EU and the Ukraine has larger economic and geopolitical components: As Russia is soon to conclude construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, Kiev is probably set to lose its gas transit revenue. Critical raw materials could therefore represent a new source of income for the Ukraine.”

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