NOK 200 million to support reforms in Ukraine

Norway is to provide NOK 200 million in budget support to Ukraine to support the Ukrainian Government's work to carry out reforms. 'This support for Ukraine is important for helping to achieve essential restructuring and modernisation,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The disbursement of budget support from Norway follows the World Bank's approval, on 25 August, of the progress made in Ukraine's extensive reform programmes. In 2014, Norway made fulfilment of all the requirements set for these reform programmes a condition for the disbursement of Norwegian funds.

'For Norway, it has been important to demand results from the reform process in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities need to show that they are able to change the culture of poor governance and corruption that triggered the Euromaidan protests. This is the mandate they have been given by the voters, and by demanding clear results we are helping to make sure that changes take place. The fact that the World Bank and the IMF are now talking in positive terms about the reform process shows that Ukraine is indeed making progress,' said Mr Brende.

During the past few weeks the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian Government forces are fighting separatists supported by Russia, has escalated once again.

'Ukraine has every right to defend its territorial integrity. It is extremely difficult to carry out reforms while parts of the country are being actively destabilised by pro-Russian separatists backed by the Russian military. Ukraine has to spend huge sums of money on a war that it has been forced into. These funds could otherwise have been used on economic reforms.

'Nevertheless, it is crucial that the work to implement the reforms continues unabated. Ukraine has to make the transition from being a country with poor governance and widespread corruption to a country governed by the rule of law. This will take time, but the important reforms that have been started must continue. Corruption and a stagnated system were two of the key factors that provoked the Maidan protests. That is why the reforms are so vital,' Mr Brende said.