Norwegian Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum has today signed an agreement to provide funding of NOK 2 billion to enable Ukraine to purchase natural gas during the coming winter.
The Norwegian funding will be channelled through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and it was First Vice President Jürgen Rigterink who signed the agreement on behalf of the bank in Oslo today. Norway is the second largest donor to EBRD’s work in Ukraine.
‘As winter approaches in earnest in Ukraine, Russia has been using energy as a weapon and has been targeting critical infrastructure in an attempt to crush Ukraine’s resistance. Russia’s actions are serious violations of international law and are causing severe hardship for the people of Ukraine. Norwegian support to secure energy supplies is therefore vitally important for Ukraine,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
In July, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that the Government would be allocating NOK 10 billion to Ukraine in 2022 and 2023. Of this, NOK 2 billion has been earmarked for gas procurement.
‘Ukraine has specifically asked Norway for support for the procurement of natural gas this winter. The timing is critical, and we are very pleased that the EBRD is to be our partner in carrying out gas purchases. It is important to channel the support through an established, internationally recognised organisation, which will ensure effective and transparent use of the funding,’ said Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
The EBRD is working closely with Ukraine, and has undertaken to provide a financial package worth EUR 3 billion in 2022–2023 to help ensure that Ukraine’s economy can keep functioning. The Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz will be the formal recipient of the gas in Ukraine. In practice, payments will be made directly to European gas suppliers that have received prior approval and will invoice for the volume of gas they deliver.
More information about the EBRD’s work in Ukraine can be found here: The EBRD in Ukraine.