MOSCOW, November 18 (Sputnik) — Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk have signed an agreement on Norwegian budget aid to Ukraine, the Norwegian government said Tuesday.
"The Ukrainian people made an important choice when they demanded more democracy and closer integration with Europe. I have come to Kiev to support the development the Ukrainian people want for their country and to bring a message that Norway will give its contribution to a peaceful and safe way forward," Solberg is cited as saying on the Norwegian government's official website.
"The people here have confronted corruption and a political culture that has not managed to develop the country for the benefit of the people. Now it is important that Ukrainian authorities continue working on much needed reforms," the minister added.
Norway will allocate some 100 million Norwegian krone ($14.8 million dollar) in budgetary support to Ukraine in 2014. "The Government also aims to assist Ukraine with equivalent budget support in 2015 and 2016, and will work closely with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to ensure that the funds go to reform efforts," the Norwegian government said.
Of the 100 million, some 43 million are to be allocated for efforts "to strengthen the rule of law, good governance and protection of human rights", 40 million will be used for energy reforms and nuclear safety, and 16.5 million will be aimed at trade adjustment and integration with the European Union, the government informed, noting that these are the specific areas in which the Ukrainian authorities have requested support and cooperation.
In addition, the countries are set to establish a bilateral economic commission.
"Today's signing of an agreement on a bilateral economic commission is an example of how we are strengthening the cooperation between our two countries. Here, Norwegian and Ukrainian authorities will come together and regularly discuss possibilities and challenges for our mutual trade. Increased trade will be essential for the improvement of the Ukrainian economy," Solberg was cited as saying.
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg is currently on an official visit to Ukraine's capital Kiev to hold political talks with the country's political leaders, as well as representatives of Ukrainian businesses.