Norway increases its support to Ukraine

Norway is increasing its support to Ukraine by NOK 70 million, bringing the total for 2015 so far up to NOK 310 million. ‘This conflict and the instability it is causing in Europe affects us all. Norway is now increasing its support for the Ukrainian Government’s reform efforts with a view to closer integration with Europe,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, who is visiting Ukraine this week.

This funding will support efforts in the areas of good governance and democracy, energy sector reform, trade facilitation and European integration. These are areas where the Ukrainian authorities have asked for support and cooperation, and for which Prime Minister Erna Solberg launched a support package when she visited Ukraine in November. Some of the funding will be in the form of direct budget support to promote economic stability, in close cooperation with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

‘After many years of poor governance, corruption and economic stagnation, the Maidan protests were a clear call for change by the people. Ukraine is a country with a high level of education and many resources, and it is the Ukrainians themselves who must do most of the work. This is not being made any easier by the military provocation the country is being subjected to. Norway is helping the Ukrainians to help themselves carry out the ambitious and very necessary reform agenda,’ said Mr Brende.

In Kyiv today, Mr Brende met President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Aivaras Abromavicius.

Yesterday Mr Brende was in Kharkiv, where he met representatives of the local authorities, civilians who have fled their homes due to the conflict, international and Norwegian OSCE observers who are monitoring the ceasefire, and representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has created major humanitarian challenges, with more than 1.2 million registered internally displaced people and over 800 000 people who have fled to neighbouring countries. Norway is providing NOK 40 million in humanitarian assistance this year.