Speech by Secretary of State Anttonen at the Ukraine Reform Conference in Copenhagen

Speech by Secretary of State Matti Anttonen at the Ukraine Reform Conference in Copenhagen on 27 June 2018.

Distinguished chair, Ministers, your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me seize this opportunity to thank our Danish colleagues for organizing this meeting and the previous speakers for your informative presentations.

On behalf of the Government of Finland, I would like to reiterate our strong solidarity to Ukraine. Our support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty stands firm. Ukraine is a European country, and we share the fate of Ukraine with its all reflections to the European security and beyond.

Implementing the Minsk Agreements by both parties is the only path to a lasting peace. We hope that there will be a new impetus after the latest Normandy format’s foreign ministers’ meeting.

We are here to discuss the Ukrainian reforms. We want to give credit to the reforms already taken place in Ukraine. We also want to encourage you to continue with them despite the upcoming election period. Finland and other European friends are there to support you, but with conditions. The ownership has to remain with Ukraine.

We also encourage you to fully reap the benefits of the Eastern Partnership, the Association Agreement and the DCFTA (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area).

Finland has allocated 35 million euros to projects in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict.

We now increase our support to education and energy efficiency sectors. In education, we will share Finnish experience and best practices from our comprehensive school. We see education as one of the fundamentals of the society.

In the energy sector, we will focus in energy-efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy and clean energy production. These are all essential to ensure sustainable energy supply, to decrease energy consumption, to improve independence from external energy sources and to enhance resilience.

Ministers, dear colleagues, Finland remains committed to stand by Ukraine in the reform work. Bold steps are needed. From our own experience we know, that is not easy, but essential.

With these words I wish Ukraine courage, resilience and success in the work ahead.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.