Ukraine and Norway stand ready to intensify economic dialogue, especially in the energy sector, and pay particular attention to the issues related to reaction and counteraction to external threats. This was stated during a meeting between Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. The meeting was held within the framework of the official visit of the Head of Government to Norway.
"We highly appreciate Norway’s staunchest and consistent stance on support of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And we emphasize that the Kremlin’s intentions to influence the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine and the European Union require the mobilization of efforts of all members of the Euro-Atlantic community ", Volodymyr Groysman said.
He stressed that today not only Donbas, but also the Sea of Azov have become the front of Russian aggression against Ukraine. "The issues of return of captured 24 Ukrainian sailors, the return of our vessels, the issue of economic losses in Ukraine because of the Russia's actions in the region deserve attention of all international partners. It should not be excluded that Moscow in the future will want to use this rhetoric for the need to "ensure proper security of critical infrastructure" in order to justify its aggressive actions in other regions. For example, in the Baltic Sea - the construction of Nord Stream 2, which is a dangerous project taking into consideration political components.
According to Volodymyr Groysman, proof of this is an active militarization of the occupied Crimea, where only the presence of servicemen has been doubled. And now it undermines the entire power balance in the region and poses a direct military threat to the NATO southern flank. And this goes even further without mentioning systematic violations of human rights, lawlessness and injustice for all those who refuse to cooperate with Russia.
"That is why we urge our partners to continue political, diplomatic and sanctioning pressure on Russia to fully restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine," the Prime Minister said.
In turn, Erna Solberg assured that the Government of Norway was and remains staunchest in defending the sovereignty of Ukraine and supporting Ukrainian reforms. The dialogue of our countries, according to the Norwegian Prime Minister, allowed to work out and start several mutually beneficial projects. Among them are the intentions of Norwegian companies Scatec Solar and NBT to take part in the development of the renewable energy sector in Ukraine.
In this context, Volodymyr Groysman invited Norwegian investors to take part in the auction for the sale of special permits for the use of oil and gas subsoil. The first auctions will be apparently held in March this year.
The parties underlined that the spheres of mutual interest are software and IT, environmental protection, agribusiness, shipbuilding, education.
"The Government of Ukraine focuses on further reforms aimed to ensure economic growth. The priority areas for us are: continuation of economic growth, beginning of large privatization, decentralization, fighting corruption, improving the investment climate, and further reforms in the energy, health care, education and pension sectors," Volodymyr Groysman added.
The trade turnover between Ukraine and Norway exceeds $200 million per year. And the total amount of financial assistance from the Government of Norway over the past 4 years amounted to over $140 million. Priority areas for support include reform of the judiciary and public administration, trade facilitation and European integration, energy efficiency and nuclear safety, and humanitarian assistance. Norway is among TOP-30 economies of the world and TOP-30 countries - trade partners of Ukraine.