Norway to increase support to Ukraine by NOK 80 million

'Ukraine has shown genuine willingness to implement far-reaching reforms and pursue European integration. This is a bold choice and the right choice, and deserves our continued support. The Government therefore proposes to increase support to Ukraine by NOK 80 million. With this increase, Norway's support to Ukraine in 2016 will total approximately NOK 390 million,' Foreign Minister Børge Brende said.

The funding will be used to strengthen the comprehensive reform process the Ukrainian Government has initiated. The main priorities for Norway's support are judicial reform and good governance, energy sector reform and efficiency, improving the country's competitiveness, and strengthening the private sector and entrepreneurship. In addition, there will be funding for work on behalf of internally displaced persons from eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

'After many years of misrule and oligarchy and the recent Russian destabilisation, Ukraine has fallen far behind other countries in the region. This means that wide-ranging reforms and modernisation are needed. In addition to dealing with the conflict, the Ukrainian Government's biggest and most important task now is to carry out reforms and enable the state to safeguard the needs and interests of the people,' said Mr Brende.

'The situation in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian Government forces are fighting separatists supported by Russia, is still unresolved. This has negative consequences for Ukraine's economy, ties up substantial resources, and adds to the challenges the Ukrainian Government is facing in its reform efforts,' Mr Brende said.

'The Government of Ukraine has our full support in dealing with the many challenging tasks ahead. At the same time, we must remember that Ukraine has rich assets and a well-educated population. The country has a wide range of industries and huge areas of agricultural land. It also has abundant natural resources. Our aid is helping the Ukrainians to help themselves,' said Foreign Minister Brende.