International Support for Ukraine Conference, April 28 2015, Kyiv     

Speech by Mr. Peter Stenlund, Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me seize the opportunity to thank the Ukrainian Government for organizing this timely meeting, and the previous speakers for your informative and inspiring presentations.

On behalf of the Government of Finland, I would like to express our solidarity with Ukraine during these difficult times. In face of the conflict, Finland has, in addition to EU- and other multilateral support, assisted Ukraine since last year  with 14 million euros  and new projects are in planning.

We reiterate our full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. This is the only basis for a sustainable solution to the conflict. The Minsk Protocol must be implemented. Finland has strengthened its support to the OSCE for fulfilling its tasks regarding the Minsk Agreement. We are actually one of the biggest contributors to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. At the moment, we aim to increase our monitors up to 30.

Mr. President,

We are here today to discuss the Ukrainian reforms and the continued efforts needed to implement them.

Finland welcomes the reforms that Ukraine has already done to consolidate the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to strengthen the protection of human rights and the rule of law.

Ukraine has shown political will to make important reforms in public administration and state building. However, success depends on tangible results in implementation.  We encourage you to take further steps in the constitutional reform process, as well as in good governance, in the justice sector, in decentralization, and in the fight against corruption.  We welcome your ambition to reach the top 50 level in the anti-corruption index.

Finland is directing its assistance mostly to the energy sector, public administration and state building.

In energy, in addition to the on-going projects, Finland will allocate 3 million euros to NEFCO's Nordic energy efficiency and humanitarian support initiative. A large part of this sum will be used for transportable buildings to Eastern or Southern Ukraine.

Our contribution to the Chernobyl shelter has been 8 million euros and to the EP5 fund 2 million euros.

In the state building, we will continue our support through the Council of Europe, the EU Advisory Mission and bilateral projects.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many reforms are still to be done and long term commitment is needed from all.  While support from all of us is essential, the ownership has to remain with Ukraine.

Please be assured that Finland remains committed to stand by Ukraine in these challenging times, and as a recent sign of that Finland ratified the association agreement last Friday. I wish Ukraine courage and success in the demanding work ahead.