Finland’s relations and development cooperation in Ukraine
Finland's development cooperation in Ukraine improves the quality of education, increases energy security and climate resilience, and strengthens the rule of law. Following Russia’s illegal invasion in February 2022, Finland’s support has been increased and adapted to respond to acute needs and to strengthen society in the midst of the war.
Finland strongly condemns Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Finland unequivocally supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Finland is responding to Russia’s actions and supports Ukraine as part of the European Union.
Ukraine has launched extensive reforms to which it is committed as part of its accession to the EU. The reforms have brought concrete benefits to citizens and improved the country's capacity to respond to various internal and external threats. It is essential that Ukraine is committed to implementing the reforms. Despite of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s government and authorities have been able to continue their work.
The strategic goals of Finland’s comprehensive activities in Ukraine are described in the Country Strategy and the Country Programme. The latter focuses on development cooperation. The goals of the Country Strategy are to restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and to guarantee respect for international law; to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine; to strengthen bilateral relations between Finland and Ukraine and to widen the scope of cooperation; to enhance the resilience of society and to improve the living conditions of citizens; as well as to strengthen the relations between the European Union and Ukraine.
Finland supports Ukraine extensively both through development cooperation, civilian crisis management, humanitarian mine action, humanitarian assistance, and through the Council of Europe, NGOs and NATO funds.
Finland’s planned support for the 2021–2024 development cooperation country programme period totals EUR 29 million.
Following Russia’s attack, a total of EUR 92 million additional support has been allocated to development cooperation and humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Additional funding totaling EUR 26.8 million has already been allocated to the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine coordinated by the United Kingdom, to the projects of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe OSCE, to the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Ukraine, and to the World Bank’s Multi Donor Trust funds. Finland has provided a total of EUR 24.2 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine and Moldova, material aid through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, and defence material directly and by contributing to the European Peace Facility. At Ukraine’s request, Finland also provides temporary family homes to 200 Ukrainians who have lost their homes during the war.
Before the additional support, Finland’s overall support to Ukraine in 2014–2021 was over EUR 70 million. Development cooperation is one of the most important forms of this support.
Objectives of Finland’s development cooperation in Ukraine in 2021–2024
In 2021–2024, Finland's bilateral cooperation in Ukraine will focus on improving the quality of teaching, strengthening the rule of law, energy security and improving climate resilience. Finland’s planned support for the 2021–2024 development cooperation country programme period is EUR 29 million.
In 2021–2024, Finland's support focuses on the educational reform, increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies as well as on the development of the rule of law.
Finland's development cooperation to improve the quality of teaching and strengthen the rule of law
Finland's development cooperation will improve teaching practices and educational environments, enhance the attractiveness of vocational education and training and strengthen the implementation of the European standards related to the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
Expected outcome: The reforms aimed at improving teaching practices and strengthening the rule of law are successful
- Educational practices and environments in primary and secondary education improve
- Vocational education and training is more attractive as an alternative to both men and women
- The implementation of the European standards concerning the rule of law, democracy and human rights are strengthened
Ongoing projects and programmes
- Support for the Ukrainian school reform in 2018–2022. The project’s budget is EUR 8 million, of which Finland’s share is EUR 6 million and that of the EU is EUR 2 million.
- Promoting Ukraine’s vocational education and training reform. Finland’s contribution to the joint project is EUR 3.5 million in 2020–2023.
- Funding for projects implemented by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE. Finland’s contribution is EUR 700 000 in 2022.
- Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine. Finland’s contribution is EUR 3 million in 2021-2022.
- Support for the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine. Finland’s contribution is EUR 4.3 million.
- Support for the World Bank’s joint funds for the financing needs of the Ukrainian public administration and school employees, and to support the public sector’s capacity to maintain public and basic services. Finland’s contribution to the joint funds totals EUR 21 million in 2022.
Finland’s development cooperation to improve energy security and climate resilience
Finland's development cooperation supports modern climate-friendly energy solutions and improves meteorological services and early warning systems related to disaster risks.
Expected outcome: Energy security and climate sustainability improve
- Modern technologies and solutions that are energy efficient and rely on renewable energy are increasingly being introduced
- Meteorological services and disaster risk reduction mechanisms improve
Ongoing projects and programmes
- Support to improving Ukraine’s energy efficiency and to increasing the use of renewable energy forms through the Finland–Ukraine Trust Fund within the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO). Finland’s contribution is EUR 6 million in 2018–2022.
- Support to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s regional Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund (E5P). Finland’s contribution for Ukraine is EUR 200,000 in 2021.
- Support to improving weather, climate and early warning services in Ukraine through cooperation between Finnish Meteorological Institute and Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center. Finland’s contribution is EUR 2 million in 2022–2025.
Finland’s cooperation partners in Ukraine
Finland's partners in Ukraine are the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, international development finance institutions and UN organisations. Finland acts as part of the European Union and promotes the implementation of the EU Ukraine agreements and related cooperation.
In Ukraine, Finland participates in the OSCE and EU civilian crisis management missions. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission monitored, among other things, the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine during 2014–2022. The EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) supports Ukraine in the reform of the civilian security sector. Finland funds humanitarian mine action and provides needs-based humanitarian assistance. Civil defence equipment has been provided through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to Ukraine.
Finland supports the Council of Europe Action Plan, which encourages Ukraine to increase the independence of the judiciary, promote the implementation of European human rights standards, pursue good governance and protect the rights of minorities and internally displaced persons.
In the UN, Finland is actively involved in matters related to Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula and is a strong supporter of Ukraine. In this context, Finland works closely both as part of the EU and in cooperation with other Nordic and Baltic countries.
Finnish civil society organisations support the development of Ukraine’s society in collaboration with the country’s civil society actors. The support has focused, for example, on mediation and improving the position of persons with disabilities.
Finland seeks to intensify commercial and economic cooperation between the countries with the help of the bilateral economic commission and through Team Finland.
The Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine has significantly increased trade between the EU and Ukraine, but this impact on trade between Finland and Ukraine has been limited. The number of Finnish companies operating permanently in Ukraine has remained small, as there are uncertainties in the business environment.
Ukraine, however, offers a significant market area of 40 million people, and there is demand for Finnish expertise. In recent years, several Finnish companies have sought business opportunities in Ukraine. The long-term reconstruction of Ukraine will offer significant opportunities also for Finnish companies. Promising sectors include construction, energy and green transition, telecommunications and digitalisation, water and waste management, education and learning environments, and agricultural machinery and technologies.